Friday, January 11, 2013

Why older foreigners are not welcomed in China?

The other day I was with a dear friend of mine.
He has been staying in China for decades. I think he arrived in 197x or 198x something.

Anyway he has in own company in China and has always been delivered a resident permit and a working visa.
But this time was different: he is now above 60 years old.

It is is tough to get a resident permit or a working visa when you are above 60 years old:

  • Public universities in China never recruit foreigners above 60 years old.
  • And if you have want to get a visa from a private company or have you own company but are above 60 years old, it might be difficult.

So why it that?

After discussing with my friend we came to the conclusion that the authorities in Changsha (and it is probably the same in many place in China) don't want a foreigner to die here.
When a foreigner dies, his whole family will come here to grieve. And this is bad avertisement for the local authorities.

Yes this is probably the Chinese authorities way of thinking.
But death is part of life. And why should it be bad for the image that a foreigner dies here?
I simply don't get it:

  • Maybe death is something taboo in China? 
  • Maybe the people in charge don't want to get the blame for any future inconvenient. Could you imagine a photo published? or all the trouble if the body needs to be send back abroad? or if a foreigner is hospitalized?
Chinese authorities want to control everything. But they can not control death so they avoid it.

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