Statistic of the day: The city of Yiwu, Zhejiang Province, has a population of 1.2 million, but 0 naturalized citizens.
Here’s a screenshot from the city’s website:
China’s Nationality Law, as succinctly summarized in the above screenshot, is not onerous on its face. More transparency in how the law is implemented by the Ministry of Public Security would be nice.
But arguably the key ingredient that’s missing is that China, like the majority of developing countries (53%), has no policy to integrate non-nationals into society, according to the UN. In contrast, nearly all developed countries (91%) do have integration policies.
But with all the talk about attracting international talent to China, the lack of a policy on integration may prove a hindrance. Why come if China can’t become their home?
There’s nothing “cultural” about the low rate of naturalization. The World Values Survey, a global research project, shows that in comparison to other countries, Chinese don’t have extreme views about whether ancestry (39.3%), birth (38.4%), culture (44.1%), or obedience to the law (78.2%) is “very important” to be considered for citizenship.
I’d like to see a list of prominent foreigners granted naturalization. And, no, this list of foreigners granted citizenship due to their support for the CCP’s revolutionary cause in the 1950s and ’60s doesn’t count. It pre-dates enactment of the Nationality Law in 1980.