The Chinese government will continue to fight illegal emigration in closer cooperation with other countries, said Xi Jinping, governor of China's southeastern coastal province of Fujian.
Due to the fact that almost all cases of illegal emigration have international background and ringleaders and vessels normally come from abroad, international cooperation should be strengthened in the crackdown on illegal emigration, Xi said.
While ringleaders must be severely punished according to law, the public should be disillusioned of their dream of seeking windfalls overseas, the governor said at the ongoing annual session of the National People's Congress.
The main destinations for Chinese illegal emigrants are the United States, Japan, Canada, Britain and the Republic of Korea. China's border police caught 5,151 would-be illegal emigrants in 2001.
Some NPC deputies noted that illegal emigration will cool down when the national economy grows strong and the gap of economic development between China and foreign countries gets narrow.
(People's Daily March 13, 2002)