Friday 6 March 2020

Backlash in China over draft rule on permanent residency for foreigners | SCMP

I've often said we have to distinguish between China as government and China as people. Between the “appalling communist waxworks”in Beijing [*]  and the average Zhou in the country. Between the authoritarian nastiness of Xi Jinping in Zhongnanhai and the open friendliness of Lao Wang at the noodle stall.
So it's disappointing to read of the raging racism, the xenophobia, the antagonism of Chinese netizens to Beijing’s plans for an easier path to Permanent Residency for foreigners.
Of course, if all you knew of the United States was through Twitter, you'd conclude they're a bigoted, racist, crude lot, too. The perils of online lives: Social media crudifies everything. 
Still, I'd have hoped for a bit better. It's disappointing. 
I doubt these Chinese xenophobes know the numbers. Only about 700 foreigners per year get Permanent Residency. In a country of 1.4 billion, that works out at 0.000053% per year.
[That compares to 1 million Green Cards the US issues each year, over 1,400 times as many as China]
And for that, Chinese netizens go into meltdown?
Shame on them. 
A proposed regulation to make it a little easier for foreigners to get permanent residency in China has caused uproar online, with many Chinese expressing strong opposition to the move.
China's permanent residency requirements are some of the toughest in the world, and foreign applicants would still need to meet strict education and investment conditions under the draft released by the Ministry of Justice last week. But it was announced at a time when nationalist sentiment is rising – stoked by state media propaganda on the coronavirus epidemic
[*] Hat-tip Prince Charles, 1997