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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 11, 1960

CABLE FROM THE 3RD BUREAU OF THE MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SECURITY, 'ON THE ISSUE OF CITIZENSHIP FOR DEMOBILIZED KOREAN PEOPLE'S ARMY SOLDIERS WITH CHINESE CITIZENSHIP AND THE CHINESE KOREAN CONSTRUCTION PERSONNEL'

This document was made possible with support from the Henry Luce Foundation

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    China's Ministry of Public Security weighs what to do with Chinese Koreans who joined the Korean People's Army and now wish to restore their PRC citizenship.
    "Cable from the 3rd Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security, 'On the Issue of Citizenship for Demobilized Korean People's Army Soldiers with Chinese Citizenship and the Chinese Korean Construction Personnel'," May 11, 1960, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 118-00942-11, 51-52. Translated by David Cowhig. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/188191
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3rd Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security

On the Issue of Citizenship for Demobilized Korean People's Army Soldiers with Chinese Citizenship and the Chinese Korean [Zhongguo ji Chaoxian zu] Construction Personnel

(1960) Security Administration No. 165

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Consular Department:

Received First Consular Department No. 6/21 and annexes. As to the citizenship question for demobilized Korean People's Army soldiers who are of China’s Korean nationality and for Chinese Korean construction personnel [translator's note: participants in North Korea's reconstruction] with valid [North] Korean identity documents who have come to China illegally by crossing the international border, our Bureau has the following opinion:

1. Those among the two groups mentioned above who neither before or after going to Korea relinquished their Chinese citizenship: if the Korean side agrees that they need not return to Korea and has issued documentation to that effect, we need not any longer ask them to go through the procedures for relinquishing Korean citizenship and treat them as Chinese citizens. However, so that our local governments will be able to distinguish those persons whom the Korean side has agreed need not return to Korea, and so to prevent the mishandling of cases, we propose that an agreement be made with Korea that: (1) China will, for anyone who has valid Korean identity documents and a “temporary ID and receipt for surrendering ID” issued by the Korean Embassy or a Korean consulate in China, cancel their registration as a Korean alien resident and treat them as a Chinese citizen. (2) For those who crossed the international border illegally and the Korean side has agreed that they need not return, the Korean Embassy or a Korean consulate will be asked to issue documentation to that effect so that we can rely on that document to treat them as Chinese citizens.

2. Those among the two groups mentioned above, who either before going to Korea or after going there, made a voluntary application to renounce their Chinese citizenship and to take Korean citizenship shall not, in principle, be allowed to restore their Chinese citizenship. These people should be persuaded to retain their Korean citizenship and return to [North] Korea. For certain individual cases, in which it would be difficult to return to Korea, it may be appropriate for those persons, after renouncing Korean citizenship, to then apply for restoration of their Chinese citizenship. After that process is completed, they can be treated as Chinese citizens.

We request that your department study this opinion and, after discussing it with Korea, send a letter to our department with the results.

Moreover, as to your department’s letters (1960) Consular Second Department No. 8/1 and (1960) Consular Second Department No. 8/1(1) on the so-called Korean Foreign Resident issue, because the issue actually is about the issue of citizenship of Chinese demobilized Korean People's Army soldiers, we will not offer a separate opinion on the matter.

(seal) 3rd Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security

May 11, 1960