Aboluowang quoted netizens as saying that the Hunan and Quanzhou (Fujian) police are now simultaneously asking people to hand over their passports.
The newspaper collected cases from residents who were asked to hand over their passports.
One netizen said that on June 22, Hunan police ordered her to send her passport to the police station within a week, by message. She also received a phone call saying she was banned from leaving the country. At that time she was working in Guangzhou.
Then, she posted the Hunan police message on the Internet. She also got a phone call saying that the mainland is currently banning people from going abroad on their own. If she wants to go overseas, she has to go to the hometown police station to submit an application.
Her mother went to the police station to ask and confirm if “it is true that the passport was confiscated.”
In a similar case, netizens in Jiangsu said that the police in Quanzhou, Fujian (her hometown), also asked her to hand over her passport.
Several other netizens also announced that their passports were asked to be revoked.
“A few months ago, my village also called me and said I must hand over my passport. It’s true, but don’t hand it in; it’s yours and won’t be returned in the future.”
“At my house, a female director came and asked me to hand it over (passport), but I didn’t care. I said wait until everyone has finished handing it over, then I will notify her. Then I asked her to show me the state document which asks to collect passports.”
Another said that his passport was canceled directly.
“Now, we are not allowed to go abroad unless necessary. If our passports expire, we will not be able to apply for a new one.”
In another case, a Shanghai woman in her 60s, wanted to renew her passport to visit a friend in the United States. She has 6 years left on her U.S. visa and only needs to renew her passport to be able to go abroad.
However, she was rejected for various reasons and received an appointment letter with no deadline.
Hunan also started a passport-cut wave in April, and the Chinese government’s surveillance of passports has taken place in recent years.
Radio Free Asia quoted information saying that the Public Security Bureau of Leiyang City, Hunan Province, on March 31, ordered people in the area to hand over their passports to the police within a week and said they would only be returned after the pandemic.
The notice states: “If you do not submit it after a week, your passport will be canceled, and you will be responsible for the consequences.”
The newspaper added that under the epidemic prevention pretext, the Chinese government has stepped up people’s control.
In the first half of 2021, the Chinese National Immigration Administration said that only 335,000 ordinary passports were issued, only 2% of the same period in 2019.
In May, according to Radio Free Asia, Zhang, who often travels abroad, said that the passport revocation has been going on for many years. Especially after the pandemic broke out, it was very difficult for people in China to go abroad.
She said: “Passport revocation has been going on for two, three years now. Now the exit card has been strictly enforced for two years. For all exits with a Chinese passport, he (border police) won’t let you go. Right now there’s no sign of the authorities, no relevant documents issued.”
The newspaper also quoted a netizen as saying that the border inspector arbitrarily cut off his passport, and this prevented him from going to Canada for university study.
Experts: through passport control, the Chinese government tightens the flow of people leaving, submitting them to ideological education on the mainland.
Radio Free Asia quoted Lu, a commentator on current affairs in Zhejiang, as saying he was furious when he heard that border inspectors were harassing people who wanted to leave the country. (At that time, border inspectors canceled passports, harassed many young Chinese, and did not allow them to leave the country.)
He said that the Chinese government wants to reduce the number of Chinese people who go abroad, preventing them from learning about the real world situation outside.
Huang, who is in an agency representing Chinese international students, said that the Chinese government also suspended citizens’ permits to study abroad. The government wanted to let primary and secondary school students study in China; it is concerned about Chinese children who get a Western education. Then these children will not be easy to manage. They have more knowledge, and the Chinese government doesn’t need that; it needs workers, it’s good enough. If people have too much knowledge, is it easy to manage?
According to Huang, the Chinese government’s restriction on citizens’ going abroad will not stop, even after the pandemic ends.