Monday, 14 April 2008

Clean up time in Beijing

It is clean up time in Beijing. Not really that type of spring cleaning a housewife would do to let freely flow the 'qi'. It is about a severe clean up time before the Olympics.

Three important things to know:

1) the visa policy has changed
2) you need to register at the local police station
3) carry an ID with you at any time

1) About the visa:
Beijing has stopped issuing multiple-entry visas, causing inconvenience to foreigners who travel to the mainland regularly and to foreign residents. Apparently this new policy only stays in place until after the Olympic Games.
Travelers are now restricted to single or double-entry visas valid for 30 days only. Multiple-entry visas that have not expired are still valid.

2) About the local police registration:
Beijing police requires foreign residents to register at the local police station within 24 hours after returning from each trip abroad. This requirement applies even if the temporary residence permit has not expired.

I am not sure since when this is in place, but I got a call in February from our compound's receptionist that they want our passports and visas copied because of a new regulation. So I guess, if you life in a compound that owns your rented house/apartment, they can organize it for you. Same as a hotel will organize the registration for its hotel guests.

3) About carrying your ID
If you are controlled by the police and you cannot identify yourself with an ID, passport or driving license, the police might take you to the police station for interrogation and you might have to pay a huge fine (I heard up to 1000 Euro?)

And I heard the story of some international school children that were controlled by police in Sanlitun and as they couldn't show their IDs they were taken to the police station. In a scary way, with plastic bags over their heads and they were not allowed to call their parents for three hours! What a terrible story! In Sanlitun where I live - I needed to search the Internet tonight...

And yes, the story took place. But it was not in the middle of the day after school on the way home (as I have first pictured), but still ...

Read about it here:

'Chinese torturing foreign teens in drugs bust', by journalist Richard Spencer in Beijing, 07/04/2008

and here

Drug raid in Sanlitun sees more than 20 arrested, by Beijing Boyce blog

Picture source: Plastered 8


My Castle in Spain said...

brr...Chinese police does seem very rough.

ps : Loved your post "no shitting in the toilet" !
I experience the same when I travel through Morroccon villages but at least you have a bucket of water inside the toilet and a tap because there is no paper.

Suzy said...

Hi Suzie - I didn't make it to Beijing, I couldn't get a visa in time. Unfortunately because of the olympics they are cracking down on the visas they give out now. No more multiple entry visas - only a single or double entry - and they are no longer doing single day processing, its a minium of 2 days now, which is how I got stuck. The lines at the china visa office here in HK are ridiculous these days, and hours of waiting after that. I hope my company doesn't need me to go again until after the olympics!


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