Beijing in drive on illegal foreigners
Beijing has launched a 100-day crackdown targeting foreigners who have entered the country illegally, stayed longer than allowed or who are working in the capital illegally.
The crackdown by the Public Security Bureau, which will run from today to the end of August, makes Beijing the second mainland jurisdiction to clamp down on foreigners, after a big increase in the number living and working on the mainland as a result of the opportunities offered by its formerly booming economy.
Guangdong's provincial government introduced a regulation in May last year to encourage the public to report violations involving foreigners, including illegal entry, overstaying, working without permits or doing business without licences.
Official data shows that there are about 200,000 foreigners in Beijing on any given day, including 120,000 who live in the capital but who might not have a job or work legally.
Figures from the Public Security Bureau in 2009 show the number of foreigners staying in Beijing for longer than six months stood at 110,000 - including 40,000 workers, 30,000 students, 30,000 foreigners who are not on a work or study visa and 10,000 diplomats and their relatives, China Daily reported.
Beijing police said that official records showed that foreigners who did not have permanent residence and a job were more likely to engage in illegal activities.
A British man who sexually assaulted a Chinese woman was beaten up outside a central Beijing department store last Tuesday night. A video clip showing the assault, which was uploaded on the internet, triggered an outpouring of anti-foreigner sentiment on the mainland.
Beijing police said that the man, a British national with a tourist visa, was drunk.
During the crackdown, police will comb Beijing neighbourhoods popular with expatriates checking for violations. The public is also being encouraged to come forward with information about suspicious activities involving foreigners.
Foreigners could face fines of up to 10,000 yuan or three to 10 days' detention for entering the country illegally.