China's Management System on Official Overseas Trips and
I. Management System on Official Overseas Trips
Over the years, the Chinese Government has put in place a sound management system on international trips for official business based on its national conditions and social system, which has ensured smooth official trips abroad and contributed to enhanced mutual understanding, friendship, communication and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the rest of the world. The management system consists of the following:
(I) Review and approval system on the mission of official trips overseas. People traveling abroad on official business must obtain approval from agencies at a higher level who are mandated to approve foreign-related activities. The competent agencies would examine the necessity and purpose of the trip as well as the composition of delegation.
(II) Personnel review and approval system. It is undertaken by designated agencies who would examine the criminal record, work performance and personal qualities of the people who will take the trip.
(III) Issuance of official passport. The dispatching agency applies for official passport with competent authorities by submitting the approval of the mission, approved list of travelers and other documents. The competent agencies then issue passports according to relevant regulations after reviewing the documents. In case of violations of regulations, fraud or deception, the competent agencies are entitled to turn down the application.
(IV) System of centralized safekeeping of official passports. Official passports are centrally safekept by the Chinese Government according to the principle of unified management, safekeeping at different levels, and clarified responsibilities. Upon completing the overseas trip, the persons must quickly return their passports to their work unit or competent authorities at a higher level for record-keeping and safekeeping. This is to ensure that official passports are used solely for official business overseas.
II. Official Passports
The Chinese Official Passports are categorized into two types: Diplomatic Passport and Service Passport. Service Passports are categorized into two types: Service Passport and Passport for Public Affairs. The official passports are issued to people traveling outside of China on official business.
(I) Passport Issuing Agencies and Eligibility
Diplomatic Passports are issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) to senior officials of the Chinese Communist Party, the Central Government and the People's Liberation Army; leading officials of the National People's Congress (NPC), the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and Non-Communist Parties; diplomats, consular officials and their accompanying spouses and minor children; diplomatic couriers; leading officials of provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government and sub-provincial cities, etc.
Service Passports are issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Chinese diplomatic (consular) missions and MFA-authorized local foreign affairs offices, to officials at or above the level of deputy division-director; staff (and their accompanying spouses and minor children) posted by the Chinese Government to Chinese diplomatic (consular) missions, the United Nations and its specialized agencies and other inter-governmental international organizations; executives of large state-owned enterprises and leaders of some universities, etc.
Passport for Public Affairs are issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Chinese diplomatic (consular) missions, and MFA-authorized local foreign affairs offices, to officials below the level of deputy division-director, personnel of public institutions, state-owned enterprises or enterprises with the state having the controlling interest, and financial institutions where the state has controlling interest or is a shareholder, etc.
The passport issuing authorities are entitled to take over, nullify or revoke passports that have been issued.
(II) Period of Validity
According to relevant regulation, the period of validity of Diplomatic Passport, Service Passport and Passport for Public Affairs is 5 years maximum.