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Emigration Rules Toughening

Labor authorities have vowed to toughen up regulation of organizations responsible for sending workers abroad to help prevent illegal emigration.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Security said it is now working with the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to combat illegal emigration.

Wang Dongjin, vice minister of labor and social security, made the remarks on Tuesday at a national meeting held in Beihai, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The number of Chinese people working abroad has increased in recent years.

"As China has expanded its ties with the outside world, more and more foreigners are seeking skilled workers in our country," said Wang.

Statistics showed that 525,000 people had worked in other economies by the end of 2003.

There are currently more than 330 intermediary bodies whose business involves sending workers abroad. All of them obtain business licenses from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

Officials from the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said they will take an increasingly cautious approach to sending workers abroad amid the serious situation of illegal emigration and deteriorating global security.

Li Junjie, an exit-entry official with the Ministry of Public Security urged all local public security organs working in this field to interview every applicant intending to work overseas.

He said only the legal export of labor can benefit both China and the importing countries.

Li stressed that cracking down on illegal emigration is an important job for the government.

In 2003 about 26,000 people illegally entering other countries were repatriated, with a further 12,000 being sent back to China in the first half of this year.

China also experiences illegal immigration, with a total of 18,773 foreigners illegally entering and staying in 2003.

Illegal intermediaries have been blamed for such phenomena, according to Li.

This year, a three-month campaign launched by the Ministry of Public Security and six other ministerial departments cracked down on hundreds of such illegal intermediaries.

Li added that these criminals take advantage of people trying to go abroad, charging them exorbitant fees, forging certificates, and even colluding with snakeheads or human smuggling gangs, said Li. "Such activities severely disturb the normal order of China's exit and entry administration."

Zhong Ruiming, a director with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said overseas laborers should learn to better protect themselves as more people working abroad became terrorist targets or were killed in accidents.

He said the government is working hard to establish a comprehensive mechanism to protect workers overseas.

(China Daily November 18, 2004)

Rule Tightens Controls on Labor Abroad
Keeping Overseas Workers Safe
Joint Effort Targets Human Smuggling
Regulation Issued to Protect Chinese Working Abroad
China Drops Hammer on Illegal Emigration
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