Migrants to China on the increase, report shows

Migrants to China on the increase, report shows

China is working closely with the international community to deal with challenges posed by changing migration patterns, including an increase in the number of people heading to the country.

There were 685,775 migrants to China in 2010, an increase of 35 per cent from 2000, according to the 2013 World Migration Report. The Chinese version of the report was released in Beijing by the International Organisation for Migration on Monday.

The number of foreigners holding residence permits in China in 2010 rose by about 29 per cent compared with the figure for 2006.

William L. Swing, director- general of the organisation, of which China has been an observer country since 2001, said Chinese authorities had been seeking expertise from other nations through the organisation to better manage the trend.

Two main concerns for the government were irregular migration management and a shortage of skilled migrants, Swing said. The report said that due to economic growth and demographic changes, China was not only a place of origin for migrants to other countries, but also a country of transit and destination for migrants.

Swing said the IOM had been helping the Ministry of Public Security in China by providing expertise and cutting-edge technology for migration management.

He said it was important to think of migration in terms of human mobility and to recognise basic human needs.

The organisation has been working closely with Chinese authorities for the past seven years to reduce the number of illegal immigrants.

Swing said the training included understanding the reasons and needs for different types of immigration and mapping out policies accordingly, measures to deal with fake passports, and using advanced biometric technology like iris recognition in cross-border identity checks.

He said the organisation aimed to create dialogue between countries and reduce immigration tension before it became political.

Par Liljert, the organisation's chief representative in China, told China Daily the IOM is providing international experience to the Ministry of Public Security.

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