Overseas Chinese refer to those who have resided abroad but still keep Chinese nationalities, including those who have emigrated from China to foreign countries and those who were born in foreign countries. They have been an important political and economic force in the historical period of revolution and construction in New China. It is well-known that early overseas Chinese mostly lived in South-East Asian countries, but the number of new overseas Chinese has been rapidly increasing in European countries, as well as in America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea and other developed countries since China carried out the reform and opening up policy. These new overseas Chinese are playing more and more important roles in politics, economics, science, cultures all over the world, becoming not only the major objects of overseas affairs for the Chinese government, but also the bridges of better understandings between China and the whole world. As there exist drawbacks in the Law on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Overseas Chinese, there have been frequent cases when the rights and interests of overseas Chinese are infringed upon, so it is necessary to enact an improved law to protect the political and economic rights and interests of overseas Chinese. This article includes three parts. Part One is concerned with the importance of protecting the political rights and interests of overseas Chinese, which is in accordance with the strategic demands of ″One Belt, One Road (OBOR)″ and with China’s national interest, and reveals that the right to vote and the right to be elected is the citizen’s political rights stipulated in the constitution of our country. However, the current fragmented system is hard for overseas Chinese to rely on in terms of the protection for their political rights and interests. Part Two discusses our proposal of how to construct the data base of overseas Chinese voters. Whether they reside at home or abroad, they may register in the election districts in China or in the election districts in foreign countries. The Chinese government, Chinese embassies and consulates abroad should establish the data base of overseas Chinese as early as possible. In order to exercise the suffrage of overseas Chinese, the data base may be classified by their professions, and should include the following information of voters like name, gender, date of birth, political affiliation, country of permanent residence, occupation, numbers of passport and identity card, etc. The authors suggest that the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council should authorize (or accredit) political and legal counselors in embassies or consulates abroad the right to examine and approve the overseas Chinese status which is the basis for voters to propose or vote for overseas candidates as deputies to the National People’s Congress (NPC) or to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). Part Three mainly expounds on how to implement the specific measures to protect the suffrage of overseas Chinese. According to International Migration Law, there are two types of overseas Chinese constituency: one is that the members of Congress might be elected by their respective constituencies in a direct election; and the other is that the overseas Chinese election districts can be divided by the voters’ residing countries, or divided by the voters’ population size. In the authors’ view point, the latter method would be more operable so as to assure the constitutional principle of ″one-man one-vote″. There are three election methods for the overseas Chinese voters: (1) They may choose the on-the-spot vote wherever at home or abroad. (2) They may vote by mail, telephone, email, fax, etc. if it is inconvenient for them to vote on the spot. (3) They may also vote on the designated website on the condition that the voter’ status has been checked in advance. These flexible voting methods can encourage more overseas Chinese to take part in the political activities and protect their right to vote. To protect the suffrage of overseas Chinese will not only be profitable for reforming the socialist political democratic system in China, but also be helpful to carry out the ″OBOR″ strategic plan as well as to further consolidate and develop the patriotic united front in the new era.
翁里 俞姗姗. 论依法维护海外华侨的选举权[J]. 浙江大学学报(人文社会科学版), 2018, 4(2): 98-105.
Weng Li, Yu Shanshan. On Protecting the Suffrage of Overseas Chinese According to Law. JOURNAL OF ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY, 2018, 4(2): 98-105.