Chinese police station’s arresting message to unregistered foreigners has desired effect

The grammar and spelling may have been crude, but at least it stirred its target audience to action

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 June, 2016, 8:04pm
UPDATED : Monday, 12 June, 2017, 12:53pm

An ultimatum issued by police to unregistered foreign residents in southern China last week has gone viral on the country’s social media, being dubbed by some internet users as “the strongest wording by Chinese government to foreigners ever”, a news website Thepaper.cn reported.

The announcement, issued by police on Thursday at Shekou in Shenzhen, next to Hong Kong, reiterated a long-standing government regulation all foreign visitors staying in China must register with local police.

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But it was the particulary strong tone by authorities – as well as grammar glitches and typos – that captured attention.

The statement said, word for word: “No Matter who you are no matter where are you come from, you are in China now, so,obey [sic] our law do the register in the [shekou police station] or you will be fine up to 2000 rmb.

“We will give you one week to do the register. One week later we will have a big operation against those foreigners who have not register in police station. Thank you.”

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An officer at the Shekou station told Thepaper.cn that the announcement achieved the desired effect.

Shekou is a popular residential area for foreigners, including many working for the offshore oil industry, as well as visitors from Hong Kong.

Many foreigners visited the station to register after seeing the statement and station staff worked over the weekend to deal with the sudden influx.

“Most foreigners are very supportive of our work,” the officer told Thepaper.cn.

But the announcement also prompted some controversy online.

Some critics said such wording as “obey our law” and “a big operation against” were not just undiplomatic but rude to foreign visitors.