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How to treat foreigners who die in China?

   According to the relevant provisions in the Handling Procedures after an Alien Dies in China as attached to the Provisions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of National Security and the Ministry of Justice on Some Issues about the Handling of Foreign-related Cases ([1995] No. 17 of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), the whole country has done a lot of work in the aspect of foreign-related funeral services, and has been praised by the persons concerned. Considering that China’s foreign relations have become increasingly frequent and the number of aliens in China has gradually increased, some new circumstances and issues occur in the funeral management and services, the duties of relevant departments need to be further clarified and the work procedures need to be improved. The following opinions are hereby put forward as follows:

1. After an alien dies in China, his family member, friend, receptionist or employer shall report relevant conditions to the competent department according to the relevant provisions in the Handling Procedures after an Alien Dies in China and timely put forward the written opinions on how to deal with the dead body. The funeral home at the place where an alien dies shall cremate the dead body or assist in the matters of transporting the dead body out of China upon the strength of the death certificate and the written opinions put forward and verified upon signature by the alien’s family member, friend, receptionist or employer and according to the procedures of our country on funeral management. The expenses resulted therefrom shall be borne by the dead alien’s family member, friend, receptor or employer.

2. Where an alien dies in China and has no family member, friend, receptionist or employer in China, according to the valid identity certificate of the dead alien, the public security organ at the place where the alien dies shall give a report to the public security department (bureau) under the people’s government of the province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government, and the public security department (bureau) under the people’s government of the province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government shall deliver a note to the embassy or consulate of the state of nationality of the dead alien in China, and require the embassy or consulate to give a written reply on how to deal with the dead body within 30 days after the note has been delivered. If the reply is unclear or that embassy or consulate fails to give a reply, the public security department (bureau) under the people’s government of the province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government shall deliver another note to that embassy or consulate, require to give a written reply within a time limit, and inform that it will record down the dead alien on files and notify the funeral home at the place where the alien dies to cremate the dead body if the embassy or consulate gives an unclear reply or fails to give a reply within the time limit. After the dead body is cremated, the ashes shall be kept for one year.

3. Where an alien dies in China and has no family member, friend, receptionist or employer in China, and the nationality indicated in the valid identity certificate of the dead alien shows the country has no diplomatic relations with China while the embassy or consulate of the state on the behalf of the Consular Affairs of the nationality of the dead alien is set up in China, the public security department (bureau) under the people's government of the province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government at the place where the alien dies shall give a report to the aforesaid embassy or consulate in accordance with the regulations of article 2; in case the embassy or consulate of the state on the behalf of the Consular Affairs of the nationality of the dead alien is unavailable in China, the public security department (bureau) under the people's government of the province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government at the place where the alien dies along with the offices of foreign affairs under the people's government of the same level put forward the written opinions on how to deal with the dead body.

4. Where a decedent like an alien dies in China and has no family member, friend, receptionist or employer in China or valid identity certificate, the public security organ at the place where he/she dies shall immediately check the decedent and submit to relevant results to the public security department (bureau) under the people’s government of the province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government, and the public security department (bureau) under the people’s government of the province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government shall, along with the offices of foreign affairs under the people's government of the same level put forward the written opinions on how to deal with the dead body.

5. After an alien dies in China, his family member, friend, receptionist or employer unit requires using the inhumation in China; it can be refused on the grounds of China’s reform of the funeral system and advocacy of cremation. When the alien contributes a lot to the society or due to the special reasons and it requires disposing the ashes or using the inhumation in China, the departments in charge of funeral matters of the people’s government of the province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government shall make the decision along with the offices of foreign affairs under the people's government of the same level.

   6. The alien suffered from one of category A infectious diseases or the SARS of category A infectious diseases, pulmonary anthrax of anthrax diseases and the  highly pathogenic bird flu when he/she lived, his/her family member, friend, receptionist or employer unit shall cooperate with the medical and health institutions in the remains disinfection and disposal, after that, the dead boy of the alien shall be send to the funeral home at the place where an alien dies for cremation. Any costs incurred shall be assumed by the family member, friend, receptionist or employer unit of the alien.



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