The topic of foreigner citizenship in China is trending on Weibo. When the Ministry of Justice published a surprisingly liberal draft of new policies this week, social media began to swell with opinion.
Some were caught unawares by the generally inclusive policies, which would welcome foreigners who fit certain criteria. If you’ve made internationally recognized achievements in the arts and sciences, contributed to China’s economic and social development, or hold expertise in key fields, the proposals would make it easier for you to apply for permanent residence in mainland China. Additional rights would grant foreigners greater freedom in purchasing real estate and housing in China.
Online, the subject has generated considerable discussion, with a mix of anti-immigrant sentiment and more open views similar to that found in many other countries at present, as well as debates over Chinese identity.
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“Do you think that giving you a piece of paper, with the Chinese ‘nationality’ printed on it, makes you a real Chinese citizen? Impossible!” one user wrote, “The cultural ancestry must be absolute.”
Another added, “There is no reason to introduce any foreigners to the protected Chinese national land!”
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Others felt more optimistic. “A good thing!” writes one, “More talent to be introduced!”
It remains to be seen how China’s lawmakers will respond to the court of public opinion.
Featured image: Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash
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