Judging by a report from the South China Morning Post, it appeared that President Donald Trump was not the only leader of a major power with concerns over the identities of foreigners entering the country and dangers they might pose.
Beginning Friday, nearly all foreigners entering the communist nation of China will have to submit their fingerprints upon entry. The additional process will first be implemented at the Shenzhen Baoan International Airport before gradually expanding to other airports across the country over the remainder of the year.
According to the Ministry of Public Security, all foreigners between the ages of 14 and 70 will be fingerprinted upon entry, with their prints stored for official use, though it remained unclear whether the prints would be shared among the various agencies of the Chinese government.
Foreigners who have already acquired a visa or those on a diplomatic passport would be exempted from the new policy, as would those Chinese citizens entering the country from the semi-autonomous regions of Hong Kong and Macau, as well as the breakaway province of Taiwan (that’s how the People’s Republic sees Taiwan, anyway). Those individuals are not considered foreigners by the Chinese government and therefore require only a home return permit instead of a passport and visa.
“Storing biological identification information of people entering and leaving borders is an important border control measure, and many countries have started to implement the regulation,” the public security ministry said in a statement announcing the new procedure.
According to the U.K. Independent, the ministry’s statement added, “The collecting of fingerprints has become common practice for border control authorities around the world. Authorities will ensure that the new system is efficient and does not result in unnecessary delays.”
It was estimated that more than 76 million foreigners visited China last year, mostly coming from South Korea, Japan, Russia and the United States.
Breitbart noted that China will not be alone in gathering such information, as such procedures were already in place in such nations as Australia, France, Japan, the United Kingdom and the U.S., which began collecting fingerprints in 2004 after the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attack.
The additional security measure was largely due to increased concerns in China about radical Islamic jihadism, mostly coming from neighboring Afghanistan and Pakistan, which in turn is fueling increased radicalism among the Muslim Uighur minority living in the largely autonomous western Chinese province of Xinjiang.
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