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The Right to Return to China

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Chapter Summary

The right of people to return to their country is universally accepted as a rule of law and it is guaranteed in the constitutions of many nations (even in principle by China, as a signatory to international instruments)– the instruments by which this is recognised place no restrictions on that right. The issue of the right to return in China is one that is crucial for China’s future and for the development of the right to return in the world. This chapter considers the issue firstly from the limits placed on the right of 16 million Huaqiao and Feifa Yimin and importantly, the limits on the right to return of Chinese citizens, including dissidents, are then considered, along with the process of merits review of administrative decisions regarding exit and entry in China. Finally, recommendations are canvassed for reform of the regulatory framework governing the right to return in China.

Keywords: China; Feifa Yimin; Huaqiao; international instruments; right to return



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