Tuesday, March 4, 2008

My First Time...

...With The Authorities

We finally had our first visit from the cops today. It seems that a lot of people from our complex already had a visit at some point but for us that was the only time in our 18 months in Beijing.

Actually it was a combination visit from the water usage reader and the PSB (Public Safety Bureau). They probably thought that nobody could refuse access to the water reader!

Apparently this was part of a big investigation into temporary residence permit holders for Olympic security.

(The original article in Chinese from thebeijingnews was translated here).
“From today to the 31 March, Beijing Police will inspect the identity documents of the floating population throughout the whole city, […] lasting 39 days, with four goals to be achieved, namely strengthening the basic registration of the floating population and rental accommodations; comprehensively grasping the base number of Beijing’s floating population; implementing service protection measures; and creating a secure and harmonious public security environment to maintain Olympic security.

The Police said that during the exercise period they would establish publicity stations at important channels where the floating population re-enters Beijing, such as the airport, railway stations, long-distance bus stations, and expressway toll booths, and in floating population residential areas, large-scale markets, and construction sites[…]
According to a police officer, after 2003, the registration of temporary residence permits mostly depended on the people taking the initiative. To increase the rate of registration, police often make visits. Although the legislation has fines and other provisions, in the last 5 years, the police have very rarely used disciplinary measures against those who have not or refuse to apply for temporary residence permits.”

I feel so much better now knowing that…. I’m part of the "floating population", living in a "floating population residential area"!