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The Role of Campaigns in Law Enforcement The Example of Sanfei Campaigns in Chinese Immigration Law

Jasper Habicht

Research Associate (-2018), Institute of East Asian Studies, University of Cologne


Due to China’s rapid economic development, the country turned out to be a preferred destination for people from countries of the so-called ‘Global South’. This inflow of surplus low-skilled workers surging into the bigger cities is seen with big concern, especially since many of these migrants do not possess proper documents. In parallel to the revision of the Exit–Entry Administration Law that established a rigorous immigration examination and administration system, the police executed several actions against foreigners residing and working illegally in China, so-called “sanfei” campaigns, in different major cities across the country. The book “The Role of Campaigns in Law Enforcement: The Example of Sanfei Campaigns in Chinese Immigration Law”, published by Nomos in 2020, examines the role of campaigns in the context of China's immigration law, which has been reformed in 2012. It examines why the revision of the Exit and Entry Administration Law was accompanied by increased campaigning against illegal immigration and illegal employment of foreigners. To this end, this book examines both the internal structure of the campaigns and the embedding of the current immigration law in the context of Chinese administrative law.

Research for this project also resulted in a journal article on exit restrictions of foreign nationals in China: Jasper Habicht: Exit restrictions in the context of Chinese civil litigation, in: Asia Pacific Law Review, Vol. 27 (2019), Issue 1, pp. 83–101.