Chinese Passport, World’s Worst?
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China’s passport, with few visa exemptions and many restrictions, has become an obstacle for Chinese citizens going abroad. As widely stated on the Internet, Chinese passport is the world’s worst passport. Some scholars believe this awkward Chinese passport situation is due to CCP regime’s tight restriction on the port of entry to its own citizens and also foreigners, by means of political censorship and so on, in the name of stability and security of political power.
In mainland microblogs, it is widely spread that the Chinese passport is considered one of the world’s worst passports, with visa exemptions in only 18 countries, 14 of which are in Africa. A visa is also required even to Hong Kong and Macao. A Hong Kong passport enjoys visa exemptions in 135 countries, Taiwan passport to 124 countries. What a pitiful so-called ‘great power.'”
A survey on the Chinese passport was published on the internet.
It indicated that nearly 80% of internet users shared the feeling of helplessness for the very few visa exempt status of Chinese passport. They believe that the lack of respect for its own citizens has resulted in not being trusted by other countries.
In Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index-Global Ranking 2010, China ranked 88, ahead of only four countries, Pakistan, Iran, Lebanon and Afghanistan.
China’s visa waiver reciprocity agreement is only valid for diplomatic and official visits to other countries. The only full visa exemption other than China is San Marino in Europe. This small country is famous for tourism, but owns an airport for small planes only. Foreigners would generally fly to Italy before entering this country. Therefore, to the ordinary Chinese, this only “mutual exemption” country serves no practical meaning.
Former lecturer at the Law School of University of Public Security, Zhao Yuanming, believes the strict control of Chinese travel is due to the fact that CCP’s ideology is different from the majority of democratic countries in the world.
Prior to 2002, the application for a Chinese passport was very tedious.
Although the application procedure was simplified in 2002, political review is still required.
Zhao Yuanming: “The Chinese people, even with a Chinese passport in hand, still suffer much restriction, not to mention the many regulations and hardship in the
process of application. These mainly serve the CCP to rule. ”
Upon learning that the Governor of Calif. was coming to visit, Zhao Yuanming believes the CCP not only restricts its citizens going abroad, but also restrict foreigners going to China. Under such conditions where other countries receive no reciprocity, these countries usually won’t have visa-free policy to China.
In 2003, the CPC for the first time unilaterally offered visa-free treaty to Japan, Brunei, and Singapore. In addition to the mutual full visa-free policy to San Marino, as of today, the Chinese Communists opened all visa free policy to four countries only.
Zhao Yuanming: “Communist regime fears not only their own domestic people, but also people in other democratic countries around the world. Therefore it has a different visa management style from other countries. Other countries mean to facilitate to enter and exit the country to their citizens, and to facilitate their travel to the world. The Communist regime doesn’t. It is to facilitate the control.”
According to the information provided by Delta Airlines, the visa and passport information provided by the International Air Transport Association indicated that there are 43 countries implementing visa-free or visa upon arrival policy to China. However, China only provided such policy to less than 15 of them.
This means that if the landing country the Chinese people apply for does not belong to those 15 countries, even if the landing country provided a visa-free or visa upon arrival policy, the Chinese people are not allowed to leave China.
NTD Reporters Zhou Yulin, Li Mingfei and Xiao Yu