Xu Shuai was born in 1985 in Dongwangsong Village near Weifang in Shandong Province. Born into a family with elder two sisters, Xu’s family moved to eastern Russian city of Vladivostok when he was young since they had violated local birth control policies. Xu grew up speaking Russian as a second language, and began working as a veterinarian in 2009. Around that time, he fell in love with a British woman named Joanne, who he met at a trade fair. Eventually, the pair married and Joanne returned to Shandong with Xu (the presence of a foreigner in the village caused a sensation with the locals). Despite the initial culture shock, Joanne eventually got used to her surroundings and gave birth to a boy and a girl after four years of living in Dongwangsong.
In 2011, Xu’s parents received a phone call from the local committee informing them that their land was being repossessed for which they’d receive compensation. The authorities offered Xu’s parents a total of around 10,500 RMB per hectare, however Xu’s parents were unhappy with the amount (their land normally netted them in a annual income of 2-4 times that), and they thought that 22,500 RMB per hectare was a more reasonable amount. However, their requests were refused. The committee also demanded that someone in the family would have to collect the compensation within three days, otherwise they wouldn’t cough up. The committee also threatened that if no one came and collected the money they would arrest the landowners.
An angry Xu called both the police and the local land bureau, who both told him, “They’re not going to arrest you now, call us again when they actually do come and arrest you.” Unsatisfied with the authorities’ response, Xu turned to the internet, and posted his story online, which quickly garnered a lot of attention—similar stories aren’t uncommon in China, however due to the fact Xu had a foreign wife, the story made international news. The committee had no choice but to appease Xu, saying that they’d stop the order to repossess his family’s land. Even so, in the wake of the incident Xu and his wife decided to try and move to Britain. Xu applied three times for a visa to the UK, though was rejected each time.
At present, Joanne and Xu are struggling to lead normal lives in Shandong, as they constantly live in fear of the local authorities. The case was brought to the British Embassy who offered to transport Joanne and her two children back to the UK, however she was afraid for Xu’s safety should he be left behind by himself. Both Joanne and Xu are unsure of what to do regarding their next step.
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Keywords: weifang injustice from Shandong authorities
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No comment about the conduct of Shandong authorities. However, I'd like to comment on the British visa issues. I think some "small" details have been omitted in the article. If you do the things according to the law, British citizens have the right to bring their husband and children to UK. I brought my Chinese wife to UK in March 2012 and got the residence card after few months. With that, she can legally work in UK too! I didn't have a job when I asked for the visa, nor did she. You don't have to prove your economic status if the visa is for wife/husband and children. It's all explained online: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk We have always done the things according to the law, and spent a lot of time and effort to make sure we did the things correctly. The UK economy is not like before, I agree, but I don't think it's on its knees. I have worked with no interruptions after three days I set foot in UK. So my questions are: where did they get married? have they registered their marriage at the British Embassy in the country where they got married? on what grounds was the husband's UK visa rejected? One important question to ask is: has he got a clean criminal record? if for example, the husband had some problems with the law (say, for example, a violation of immigration laws, which can also be an undeclared overstay in some countries), than he will have troubles. I would like to highlight the fact that the barrier in UK is being raised for foreigners parasites that come to UK to abuse of their welfare system, not for high-quality immigration. In the past, they let every Tom, Dick and Harry come to UK... After seeing the current bad results of poor-quality immigration, they finally decided to make it a little more difficult to come here (points based system). Better late than never! Besides, China is also (finally) raising some barriers: now you must hold at least a Bachelor Degree to get a work visa in China. Now that more and more foreigners are going to China, it would be better if China could try to skim immigrants and retain higher-quality foreigners. At the end of the day, China will soon be the number 1 world economic power and should have the best of best in all fields to deserve this leadership.
May 27, 2013 19:44 Report Abuse