No Exit: China Uses Passports as Political CudgelSubmitted by Barracuda_Trader on Sat, 02/23/2013 - 11:56
BEIJING — Flush with cash and eager to see the world, millions of middle-class Chinese spent the 10-day Lunar New Year holiday that ended on Monday in places like Paris, Bangkok and New York. Last year, Chinese made a record 83 million trips abroad, 20 percent more than in 2011 and a fivefold increase from a decade earlier.
Sun Wenguang, a retired economics professor from Shandong Province, was not among those venturing overseas, however. And not by choice. An author whose books offer a critical assessment of Communist Party rule, Mr. Sun, 79, has been repeatedly denied a passport without explanation.
“I’d love to visit my daughter in America and my 90-year-old brother in Taiwan, but the authorities have other ideas,” he said. “I feel like I’m living in a cage.”