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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Qiyue on the Third Bali Regional Ministerial Conference

Actively Respond to Global Financial Crisis and Promote Legal Movement of People

Bali, 15 April 2009


Distinguished Chairmen,

Fellow Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to attend the Third Bali Regional Ministerial Conference on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime. I wish to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Government, warm congratulations on the opening of the Conference. Also, please allow me take this opportunity to express my thanks to Indonesia and Australia for their thoughtful arrangements.

Messrs. Chairmen,

Bali Process, established in 2002, is an effective mechanism to combat and prevent people smuggling, trafficking in persons and related transnational crimes in the Asia-Pacific region. It has played an active and important role in safeguarding the common interests and strengthening cooperation in the region and international community. For which, China highly appreciates. We are confident that the joint efforts of all members will lead to new agreement on people smuggling and other transnational crimes issues during this Conference.

Messrs. Chairmen,

China has always advocated the promotion of legal movement of people, subject to the international treaties and relevant domestic laws. China resolutely opposes all forms of people smuggling and other transnational crimes, and makes great efforts to propel the international personnel exchanges forward in a healthy and orderly manner. In recent years, we have taken the following main measures:

First, improve the mechanism of anti-illegal migration. The Chinese police forces have made anti-illegal migration part of the Peace Border & Coast Campaigns, and have consistently improved the mechanism to better address illegal migration issues. Anti-illegal migration knowledge has been introduced to the public by such ways as providing brochures, which has increased public awareness in the society, especially women and children, and received good results. In 2008, 41 illegal migration organizers and transporters surrendered themselves to the police.

Second, intensify border and coastal control. The Chinese border authorities have conducted cleaning up activities in the inland border areas, and strengthened controls over important land sectors and transportation hubs, increased the checking efforts, and improved the public security environment in the border area. The Chinese border authorities have strictly implemented the system for registration and inspection of vessels going to sea, and curbing the spread of illegal migration at sea. In 2008, 918 people from 822 illegal migration cases were seized in coastal areas.

Third, reinforce border control. The Chinese border authorities continue to keep tight measures of border inspection, improve capacity of verification of fraud documents, prevent and hit on activities of fraud and forged documents or diverted illegal migration after legal exit, discover and deal with illegal immigrants, organizers and transporters, and maintain the order of exit and entry points.

Fourth, crack down on illegal migration groups. The Chinese police forces have deepened regional cooperation and coordination, ferreted out a number of behind-the-scenes snakeheads, and destroyed a number of illegal migration groups, curbed the spread of organized smuggling activity at focus direction. In 2008, 21 illegal migration groups were ferreted out and destroyed, 386 organizers and transporters were seized, and 147 of them were sentenced according to law.

Fifth, strengthen international law enforcement cooperation. The Chinese police forces continue to consult and communicate with relevant countries and international organizations, exchange information and intelligence, conduct joint exercises, and fight against transnational crimes, including those illegal migrations into a third country/region via mainland China. In 2008, 1187 foreign illegal immigrants were seized.

Messrs. Chairmen,

The unprecedented international financial crisis is still spreading, affecting the economy of all countries by varying degrees, global unemployment rate is increasing, and trade protectionism is rising, the situation of illegal migration is changing, combating and preventing people smuggling and other transnational crimes is facing new challenge. To this end, I would like to make the following four proposals:

First, give full play to the role of Bali Process. Since combating and preventing people smuggling and other transnational crimes involves many different parties, concerted effort can only be formed with consensus and consultation. We support the Bali Process in providing platform for exchanges and consultations, in order to join hands in combating and preventing people smuggling and other transnational crimes.

Second, enhance mutual trust and cooperation. Combating and preventing people smuggling and other transnational crimes are the common responsibility of all members, and meet the common interest of security and development of the members. Past experience shows that in crisis it is all the more important to stick to a policy of mutual trust and cooperation. We advocate shared responsibility, mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. When we deal with illegal migration, interests and concerns of all members should be reflected without political bias and double standard.

Third, expand the channels of legal movement of people. With the constant deepening of globalization, interdependence among members is increasing, and movement of people becomes more frequent. Orderly movement of people injects new vitality into human civilization, and makes tremendous contributions to the economic growth and social progress of all members. We note that the movement of people between developed members is relatively smooth. In order to curb and reduce illegal migration fundamentally, we propose further facilitation of movement of people between developing members and developed members, broaden channels of personnel exchange, and guide the movement of people legally and orderly, and take effective measures to help immigrants integrate into local economy and society.

Fourth, further strengthen law enforcement cooperation. Useful practices in the past have proven that information and intelligence sharing and joint action of law enforcement agencies of the members, are conducive to deal with organized smuggling activities. The Chinese side holds that relevant mechanism of cooperation should be institutionalized, and more forceful measures taken in the investigation and prosecution of international snakeheads.

Messrs. Chairmen,

People smuggling and other transnational crimes have profound economic factors and complex historical background. Solution cannot be achieved overnight. It requires joint effort of all members to accomplish this long-term and arduous task. China, on its part, will continue to act in a responsible manner, intensify consultation and cooperation with other members, and make due contributions to maintaining regional and international security and promoting regional and world economic growth.

Thank you, Messrs. Chairmen.

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