Call for greater expat employee scrutiny

Updated: 2013-04-30 00:49

By CHEN XIN (China Daily)

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More efficient measures should be taken to ensure that foreigners with criminal records are banned from working in China, senior officials with the department that oversees attracting and managing international professionals said on Monday.

The officials' remarks came after a British man who is wanted for allegedly raping a child in the United Kingdom and had been a teacher at an international school in Beijing was detained in the Chinese capital on Friday.

Neil Robinson, 46, who is in police custody and being investigated for illegally staying in China, is wanted in connection with the distribution of indecent images of children and the rape of a child, reported Xinhua News Agency.

"Such cases are not common. The overwhelming majority of foreign teachers in China are outstanding," Xia Bing, director of the Department of Cultural and Educational Experts under the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, said at a forum.

Xia said the number of foreign teachers in China has kept growing over the past three decades. Those teachers work in many universities, primary, middle and high schools and training institutions, and they have contributed greatly to the country's fostering of international talent and social development.

More than 180,000 cultural and educational foreign professionals worked in China in 2011, according to Xia.

"But at the same time we should be on guard and use the recent negative case to scare off those who want to come to our country with bad motives," he said.

Foreigners who want to work in China should know that they ought to provide proof that they have no criminal record, he said.

"Police departments in their home countries should offer such proof but we cannot make their governments provide it. We can only see to it that foreigners fill in a form stating their criminal history before they enter China," he said.

To prevent the reoccurrence of such a case, Xia urged schools that employ foreign teachers to remain vigilant.

Even though the authorities take all possible steps, unfortunately cases can occur, Chen Huabei, director of the Information Research Center of International Talent under the administration, said at the same forum.

Chen urged bureaus of foreign experts affairs to strengthen management of foreigners as well as to provide more care and better services for them.

A foreigner who is permitted to work as a teacher in China should acquire a foreign expert certificate granted by a local bureau of foreign experts affairs. A bachelor's degree and a minimum of two years teaching experience is a must, reported China Central Television.