China issues fewer passports amid COVID-19 pandemic
Fewer Chinese received passports in the first six months of this year as the country continued strict border control to contain COVID-19, the National Immigration Administration (NIA) said on July 30.
The immigration authorities issued 335,000 passports in the first six months of this year, mostly for the purposes of studying, working, and doing business abroad, the NIA said in a press release.
The figure only accounted for 2 percent of the same period in 2019, the statement said.
In the face of the lingering pandemic, the NIA has continued to restrict unnecessary and non-urgent travel abroad and imposed a stricter policy on issuing passports and other travel documents to mainland residents, the statement said.
From January to June, the authorities issued around 3.18 million travel permits to Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan and granted 380,000 short-stay and long-stay permits to foreigners in China.
Around 85,000 people were caught for illegal travel across the border from January to June, and about 31,000 foreigners were found illegally entering the country and illegally working and staying here.