FOREIGNERS in China have enjoyed more freedom in travelling, shopping, accommodation and especially in entry and exit, since the country’s own “green card” system was put into effect in August.
The system, initiated with the implementation of Regulations on Examination and Approval of Permanent Residence of Aliens in China on Aug 15, allows foreigners to apply for China’s Alien Permanent Residence Permits.
Eighty-three-year old Joan Hinton, who has lived in China for more than 50 years, is one of the first 28 foreigners to get a “green card” last month in Beijing.
“You need identity cards to do almost everything now in China, which may not be convenient for foreigners. ‘Green cards’ will grant us more advantages and convenience,” said Hinton, who has studied livestock raising in the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Mechanisation Sciences since 1979.
According to regulations, the Alien Permanent Residence Permit Hinton received can serve alone as a legal ID card.
Meanwhile, foreigners with Chinese “green cards” do not need to obtain visas and can enter and leave the country with their valid passport and Alien Permanent Residence Permits. They are also allowed to freely change residences on the mainland.
Hao Chiyong, assistant minister of public security, considered the “green card” system a must for China if the country wants to adapt to economic globalisation and to promote the reform and opening-up policy.
He said it was also a response to high-level foreigners who want to pursue their business and enjoy a freer life in China.
Gerhard Mairhofer, general manager of Shanghai Krupp Stainless Co Ltd, said the 10-year-valid “green cards”, which enjoy the same re-certification cycle with the ID cards of Chinese citizens, could save foreigners the trouble of renewing their short-term residence permits every half a year.
Most of the major Chinese cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhan, Guangzhou and Chongqing, have started to issue green cards. – China Daily
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