Xinjiang officials deny holding ordinary citizens’ passports

By Zhao Yusha and Cui Meng Source:Global Times Published: 2016/11/25 20:18:39

Sources from Xinjiang police denied that the government is holding ordinary citizens' passports, noting that the government only holds passports of those who are suspected of having links to terrorism.

A source from Urumqi, capital of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, told the Global Times that local police are not holding residents' passports except for those with suspicious connections.

The source further noted that local officials were required to submit their passports to their work units but the practice is common across China and not limited to Xinjiang.

The public security bureau in Shihezi in northern Xinjiang required that passport holders hand in their passports to local police stations for annual examination in a post on its official Sina Weibo account on October 19.

The post was later removed from the bureau's Weibo account.

The source in Urumqi said that some local governments in Xinjiang may have misunderstood the passport management policy.

Xinjiang authorities announced in August 2015 that they would simplify the paperwork and speed up procedures for those who apply for a passport under the category of visiting [a family member or friend overseas], business, tourism and education.

The new policy stipulated that residents in Xinjiang who obtain a passport under tourism category can keep the passport in their personal possession.



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