Determining Diasporic Chinese Identities from a Legal Perspective in China


In: Journal of Chinese Overseas
Guofu Liu (刘国福) School of Law, Beijing Institute of Technology Beijing China

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Qian Zhu (朱倩) Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology, University of Cologne Cologne Germany

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The Chinese diaspora broadly includes the groups of huaren (华人, ethnic Chinese of different nationalities), huaqiao (华侨, overseas Chinese who are Chinese citizens overseas), guiqiao (归侨, returned overseas Chinese), and qiaojuan (侨眷, relatives in China of overseas Chinese). In the Chinese legal system, the determining of Chinese diasporic status is an important issue in the Chinese diaspora law, as it pertains to the protection of diaspora rights and interests by governmental authorities. The diaspora law in China identifies Chinese diasporic status and grants rights and duties according to nationality and residential qualifications but does not consider the actual contact between the Chinese diaspora and China. This has caused substantive legal procedural issues regarding the confirmation of the legal identity of Chinese diaspora and the issuing of relevant certifications both in China and abroad. These legal issues have presented significant challenges for the Chinese government in its efforts to engage with and manage the Chinese diaspora and it has created a bureaucratic barrier to the protection of their rights and interests. This paper aims to explore the current issues in determining the legal status of the Chinese diaspora, to critically review relevant laws, policies, and empirical research, and to suggest possible solutions for improving diaspora law in the legal system.


中国的侨民包括外籍华人、华侨、归侨、侨眷。确认外籍华人、华侨、归侨、侨眷的身份是中国侨务法律制度中的一个重要问题,也是保护其权益的基础和起点。确认外籍华人、华侨、归侨、侨眷的身份和向其颁发相应身份证明是侨务管理部门 的义务。中国单纯以国籍和居住证为基础确认外籍华人、华侨、归侨、侨眷的身份,并规定其权利和义务,不完全考虑与国家真实联系的因素,这引起了国内外关于确认中国侨民合法身份以及相关认证的实体性和程序性法律问题。这些法律问题给中国政府管理中国侨民带来了重大挑战,构成保护他们权益的官僚障碍。本文旨在探讨当前解决中国侨民法律地位的问题,通过实证研究和批判性地审查相关法律与政策,提出可能的解决方案,以改善中国法律体系中的侨务法律。

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