On July 30, the Chinese communist regime announced that it would cease issuing private passports to Chinese citizens indefinitely, emphasizing that it was an anti-pandemic measure. However, many people outside of China have questioned why the government is restricting people’s mobility.
At a Chinese State Council press conference on Wednesday, Liu Haitao, director of Border Inspection Management for the Chinese regime’s Immigration Administration, stated, “China will strengthen entry and exit management at ports and borders, strictly prevent the import of epidemics, and strengthen various measures.”
One of the measures was to “strictly restrict non-emergency and non-essential people’s cross-border movement.”
“The Immigration Administration will temporarily suspend the issuance of private passports and other entry and exit permits for non-essential and non-emergency reasons,” Liu stated.
However, the regime did not specify when private passports would be issued again.
Some Chinese citizens claimed that the strict control of passports began several months before the official announcement and was already affecting citizens’ lives.
As early as April, a mainland citizen posted on the popular Chinese website “Douban” that he needed to update his passport in order to conduct overseas business for foreign clients, but that he was turned down.
According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), the suspension is a blanket ban because there is no definition of essential and emergency or non-essential and non-emergency, and all passport applications have been denied for various reasons.
Passport renewals for Chinese citizens living abroad have also been denied, such as at the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles.
Some analysts believe that pandemic preparedness is merely an excuse for the regime to tighten its grip on the Chinese people.
According to Fang Yuan, a Chinese current affairs commentator, the suspension of non-emergency entry and exit documents may have something to do with the pandemic, but it is not the primary reason. He believes that the regime sees it as a necessary means of control in order to concentrate resources in order to deal with the trade war with the United States.
According to Teng Biao, a legal scholar in the United States, the Chinese regime’s Immigration Bureau’s actions violate China’s own law, which protects citizens’ basic rights, including the ability to obtain a passport and travel.
Teng believes that pandemic preparedness is merely an excuse for the government to tighten its grip on people’s movements and prevent the spread of Western ideologies among Chinese people.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Chinese regime decided internally in June to extend cross-border restrictions for another year in order to avoid any disruptions to the Beijing Winter Olympics and the Chinese Communist Party’s 20th national congress in 2022.