The following article is the text of the report that the director of the PRC Overseas Chinese Affairs Office delivered to the Chinese parliament in April 2018 regarding his office’s performance. One of China’s main priorities in engaging with Chinese people outside of the PRC is to recruit scientific and technical talent to serve China’s economic development, according to the report. The report mentions a number of problems that foreign citizens of Chinese descent face in living and doing business in China, such as their foreign ID documents not being accepted, difficulties in securing education and health care for their families, and intellectual property theft.
Author: Xu Yousheng (许又声), director of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council (国务院侨务办公室; 国侨办)
The Chinese source text is available online at: https://web.archive.org/web/20200429205358/http://www.npc.gov.cn/npc/c30834/201804/a9434ebec8804602ab619da74df35cb8.shtml
US $1 ≈ 7 Chinese Yuan Renminbi (RMB), as of June 2, 2020.
Translator: Etcetera Language Group, Inc.
Editor: Ben Murphy, CSET Translation Lead
To the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC):
On behalf of the State Council, I hereby report to the NPC Standing Committee, for its consideration, on the situation regarding work on protecting the rights and interests of overseas Chinese.
Article 50 of China’s constitution states: “The People’s Republic of China protects the legitimate rights and interests of overseas Chinese.” Overseas Chinese (华侨) are Chinese citizens who have settled abroad. Chinese foreign nationals (外籍华人), in the usual sense, refers to former Chinese citizens who have acquired a foreign nationality, as well as their descendants. Overseas Chinese and Chinese foreign nationals are usually inseparably combined in overseas Chinese affairs work, and overseas Chinese and Chinese foreign nationals are collectively referred to as overseas Chinese compatriots (侨胞). In terms of overseas Chinese, China is a resource-rich country. There are over 60 million overseas Chinese compatriots distributed among nearly 200 countries and regions, of whom somewhat over 6 million are overseas Chinese and more than 50 million are Chinese foreign nationals. They are an important component of the Chinese nation, and an important force to rely on for defending the interests of national sovereignty, security and development, and for promoting friendship between China and foreign countries. For China, it is an irreplaceable resource of great importance.
Since the 18th Party Congress [in 2012, when Xi Jinping became top party leader], the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, giving comprehensive consideration to both the domestic and foreign situations, has made new deployments and put forward new requirements for doing overseas Chinese affairs work well, and for uniting the Chinese diaspora’s hearts and strengths behind achieving the Chinese Dream. With a strategic mindset of achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, General Secretary Xi Jinping has proposed the important exposition that “the unified Chinese nation is the common root of Chinese people at home and abroad; the vast and profound Chinese culture is the common soul of the Chinese people at home and abroad; and achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is the common dream of the Chinese people at home and abroad.” He emphasized that “overseas Chinese compatriots have an irreplaceable role of great importance to play in achieving the Chinese Dream”, and that “an important task for the party and the state is to closely unite the vast numbers of overseas Chinese compatriots, returnees, and their families, and make full use of their active role in the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” and asked overseas Chinese affairs departments to be kind confederates to overseas Chinese, returned overseas Chinese, and their relatives, and be pragmatic practitioners in overseas Chinese affairs work. The Decision of the CPC Central Committee on Major Issues Pertaining to Comprehensively Promoting the Rule of Law speaks of “protecting the rights and interests of overseas Chinese compatriots in accordance with law.” The 19th Party Congress Report proposes “broadly unifying and linking with overseas Chinese nationals, returned Chinese, and their relatives, so as to work together for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” These important pronouncements and decisions fully reflect the high degree of emphasis placed on overseas Chinese affairs work by the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, as well as its kind concern for overseas Chinese compatriots, providing us a basis to follow in doing the work of protecting the rights and interests of overseas Chinese. Li Keqiang and other central leaders have all attended major overseas Chinese-related events on multiple occasions, giving important instructions and strong guidance for overseas Chinese affairs work. In the following, I will report on four aspects of the situation regarding work to protect the rights and interests of overseas Chinese.