Shanghai cracks down on illegal asylum seekers
Shanghai's new policy on the household registration permit, or hukou, which empowers police to cancel the hukou of citizens who acquire a foreign nationality, targets dual citizenship issues and will help government in its anti-graft campaign and crack down on illegal asylum seekers, an observer said.
Shanghai citizens who have settled down in foreign countries or acquired a foreign nationality should cancel their hukou registration at a local police station. Police could do a mandatory hukou cancellation on those who refuse to cancel it themselves or fail to cancel it one month upon being informed, according to the new hukou policy released by the Shanghai Public Security Bureau's website. The new policy takes effect on May 1.
Song Quancheng, director of the Institute of Migration Studies at Shandong University, told the Global Times that the new policy targets those who enjoy dual citizenship, as China does not recognize dual nationality.
China's nationality law states that China does not recognize dual nationality, and Chinese who live abroad and voluntarily acquire the nationality of a foreign country will automatically lose their Chinese nationality.
"In recent years, China has seen a growing number of people immigrating to other countries through investment or skills, and they are reluctant to cancel their hukou for some benefits," Song said.
The policy is also conducive to apprehending corrupt officials who have fled to other countries, and those who have illegally sought asylum in other countries, Song said.
Though the policy could help crack down on illegal asylum seekers, some observers said this may not be helpful for attracting competitive talent.
Zhu Zhengfu, a Chinese political adviser, has proposed amending China's Nationality Law to allow Chinese people of foreign nationality to keep their Chinese nationality in a bid to increase talent competitiveness, the Beijing Youth Daily reported.
"To automatically revoke his Chinese nationality is to give up talent to other countries, which is not in China's interests in the long run," Zhu said. "Holding a foreign nationality is not the same as being unpatriotic."
"China should allow overseas talent living in foreign countries who have contributed to China's development to keep their hukou to attract talent and preserve Chinese traditional culture," Song said.