According to information from the United Nations, China is among the 53 percent of all developing nations without specific integration policies. Nevertheless, there are some approaches that at least aim at the integration of certain migrant and population groups. Worth mentioning in connection with this is the Law on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Overseas Chinese and Family Members of Overseas Chinese (1990, revised 2000). The law provides for preferential treatment of the overseas Chinese that wish to resettle in China. As an example, these people would have easier access to the job market.
If and to what degree foreigners with a permit for permanent residence in China are entitled to receiving social services is at present not written in any national laws. At the provincial level, on the other hand, provisions have already been laid down. In Shanghai for example, foreigners who have a long-term residence permit enjoy the same rights as Chinese citizens, also regarding unemployment insurance, access to education and health insurance.
Integration of Internal Migrants
In addition, integration policy measures exist in the context of Chinese internal migration.
Integration of National Minorities
The integration of national minorities into the majority Han Chinese population is also on China’s political agenda. According to law, discrimination against these minorities is prohibited and in certain areas they are, at least officially, given priority over the Han Chinese. The strict one-child policy does not apply to members of minorities and they sometimes receive easier access to schools and universities. Furthermore, the rights for minorities to protect their spoken and written language, to practice their religion and to participate in the political arena are legally founded. However, because there is no rule of law in China, members of minorities are not able to take legal action for their rights. In practice, discrimination and disadvantages remain existent in many areas. The legislation remains vaguely formulated and does not explicitly regulate, for example, how violations against existing anti-discrimination laws are to be punished. The systematic resettlement of Han Chinese in minority areas has also led to discontent among many non-Han Chinese.
This text is part of the Interner Link: country profile China.