In an extraordinary move, China will start fingerprinting visitors upon them setting foot in the Middle Kingdom.
China Daily, the authoritative mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party announced this over its website. The daily often parrots the intentions and plans of the Chinese government. But the daily, typical of its well-documented brevity anything else beyond its stated intentions.
Though the statement from the daily quoting the Ministry of Public Security said the measure will not delay ‘entry and exit’ into the country, there was no explanation on the kind of methods and technologies Beijing would employ in meeting its goals.
The same ministry said it would begin screening and vetting foreign passport holders who arrive Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport in the Guangdon Province later this week. The moves are reminiscent of US president Donald Trump’s trenchant calls over the last 18 months to vet and screen foreigners stepping ashore into the US.
China said it will gradually roll the programmes throughout this year and said nothing else as to who the nation had in mind when implementing the new controversial moves, nor explained why?
The UK based Independent paper said, “The collecting of fingerprints has become common practice for border control authorities around the world,” the Ministry said in a statement on the government’s English language website. “Authorities will ensure that the new system is efficient and does not result in unnecessary delays”.
Millions of people visit China annually since the country opened its doors in 1978 as part of its overarching economic transformation drive.
The new Chinese move runs up against human rights advocacy but the measures have become vital in view of the rising surge in terrorism across the world, which also happens sporadically in China’s north western state of Xinjiang. Over there, terrorists have been campaigning for years through violence and non-democratic means to effect political change.
Xinjiang is which borders Central Asia has been a restive state for years and Beijing over the years have blamed slanted news articles in the Western media and other forces of trying to split up and spin Xinjiang off China.