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Permits blocking the way of Santa?

Published by January 19,2021


A joke involving Santa Claus, heavy smog in China, fear of false accusations, and a lack of permits has been making the rounds on Chinese social media on Thursday.



The joke, which first hit Chinese social media on Christmas Eve, highlights some of the darker aspects of Chinese society.



"Santa Claus lost himself in the heavy smog on his way to give out gifts in China. No passers-by would lend him a hand out of fear that he would blame them for his predicament. Santa's sleigh was also confiscated by the traffic police for unlicensed driving. Alas, there is no gift this year," the joke goes.



Santa's journey to China could be smoother, but one thing is for sure: he will need a lot of certificates and permits to finish his job.



The visa issue comes to mind immediately. China has not opened free-visa visits to people from Finland. While Santa may need to apply for a short-term visa today, the situation might change in the near future. In 2014, China has inked deals with 19 countries for free-visa tourism. So far, 12 of the deals have gone into effect opening up 12 countries, more than all the countries that signed visa-free deals in the previous four years.



On top of the visa issue, Santa's gift cotton drawstring bag also requires a permit. According to the Customs regulations, an import license is required to ensure the quality of imported goods crossing the border. There will be no exception for the Santa.



Santa also needs to be aware of what kind of gift's he is bringing into China. Anything that's considered a luxury good can not be given to Chinese officials amid the country's fight against extravagant life of government officials.



The reindeer pulling the sleigh also have to go through health checks before they are allowed to enter the country. There maybe quarantine periods. Santa will also need an animal quarantine certificate.



Speaking of the sleigh, flying object need to obtain a pass before taking off in Chinese air space. Good news is that a low-altitude flight below 1,000 meters would make things easier as China has pushed for the opening of more air space in 2014.



Pilot programs that allows private flights in air space below 1,000 meters has been carried out in cities across the country, and by 2015, the reforms will be conducted across the country.



More access to air space will generate huge market opportunity for aviation, and also save the trouble of the Santa driving on congested roads.



Speaking of vehicles, cars and other motor vehicles require a license to operate. Luckily for Father Christmas, there is no regulations for sleighs, though his reindeer is another matter all together. Even after going through quarantine, Saint Nick needs a special permit to keep the animals. Reindeer are state protected animals in China.



Apart from the certificates mentioned, Chinese netizens have also come up with other permits that the jolly old man might need, such as certificates for a temporary residence permit, which has been scrapped in some cities for its discrimination against migrants, and a certificate honoring his use of a 100 percent emissions free vehicle.



Hopefully, the Santa will find his way into China next year.




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