Recent Covid19-related restrictions on entering the People’s Republic aside, foreign immigration in China has been on the rise and is becoming more diverse. Besides high-skilled foreigners from developed countries, the number of foreign students, many from lesser developed countries low-skilled laborers and marriage migration increases. Pieke, Ahl, Barabantseva, Pelican, Speelman, Wang and Xiang have analysed how the increasingly diverse foreign immigration is shaping Chinese society.
Along with the rising numbers, the legal framework has undergone fundamental reformation. In a forthcoming chapter now available on SSRN, Björn Ahl and Pilar-Paz Czoske have observed on the one hand that streamlined application procedures that are available online and clarified competences have increased efficiency whereas the classification scheme of different categories of foreign nationals has enhanced transparency. On the other hand, recent reforms have been more symbolic than functional and the protection of rights of migrants has not been significantly improved by recent reforms. With regard to international law, China has not ratified the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers and does not model the protection of labour rights of foreign nationals on the equal treatment principle as it is embodied in the Convention. However, China voted for the Global Compact for Migration after being actively involved in its drafting process and further committing itself in this context to improve national migration legislation.
The chapter on the Reform of Chinese Migration Law and the Protection of Migrants’ Rights for ‘East Asian Migration Governance in Comparative Perspective: Norm Diffusion, Politics of Identity, Citizenship’ is available here.