China immigration authorities debunk disinformation over alleged heavy-handed border controls
Published: May 13, 2022 11:19 AM
Chinese passport Photo:VCG

Chinese passport Photo:VCG

China's National Immigration Administration (NIA) and the General Station of Exit and Entry Frontier Inspections in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou on Friday debunked rumors surrounding passenger passports or green cards being confiscated when entering or exiting the country. Authorities said that such disinformation aims to undermine China's COVID-19 prevention measures and regulations. 

A spokesperson for the NIA said that since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, it has firmly implemented a strategy to prevent imported cases and domestic resurgences, and that immigration administrations across all levels across the country have worked to improve regulations for entry  and exit. 

For people who need to go abroad for study, business, research or medical needs or other necessary or humanitarian needs, authorities have provided necessary assistance. For people who go abroad to help with fighting the virus or transfer relief supplies, authorities have also offered support. 

Recently, some foreign media outlets have hyped disinformation suggesting China has stopped issuing passports to citizens, or cutting passengers' green cards to prevent them from leaving the country. Such disinformation undermines China's entry and exit regulations and seeks to disturb the current effective management over the country's borders, the spokesperson said, also reminding the public that the global pandemic is far from over with high risk of being infected still a reality,  and that people within China are advised to not travel abroad unless necessary to do so.

On Friday, the General Station of Exit and Entry Frontier Inspection in Beijing also released a statement to debunk disinformation, saying that people who hold valid passport and abide by related rules can enter China after being checked by the inspection stations. 

According to China's law on the control of the exit and entry of citizens, exit and entry documents which are forged, altered, obtained by fraudulent means or are declared void by issuing authorities shall be invalid. Public security organs may cancel or confiscate the exit and entry documents prescribed in the above way or used fraudulently by persons other than the specified holders, according to the statement. 

The statement also noted that the internet is not outside the bounds of law. People who invent or spread disinformation to disturb social order are violating the law and will be held accountable. 

People who need enter or exit the country should not believe rumors, and can access information from the National Immigration Administration website or hotline, the statement read. 

Aside from Beijing, on Friday, the inspection stations in Shanghai and Guangzhou also released statements to refute similar rumors. The Guangzhou station noted that the online rumors surrounding passengers' green cards being cut up had sparked concern and that disinformation had impacted the regular work of border control management. Those who spread disinformation may be subject to law enforcement action by border control authorities. 

Global Times