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Although the Right to Leave and Return (RLR) is a fundamental human right, each State has the sovereign right to regulate RLR in accordance with its own laws.
In the case of China, the country’s communist political system has significantly affected the development of RLR and the country’s approach to it. As a rule, China’s approach is restrictive. As part of its reform and ‘opening up’ policies, China has embarked on a range of reforms to liberalise RLR, but the reforms lack cohesion and focus, and remain restrictive. Given its past and its complex social and economic conditions, China may have some justifications for its approach, but on balance, has more to gain from adopting a more liberal approach. The issue of RLR in China is crucial both for the future of China, and for development of RLR in the world.
The Right to Leave and Return (RLR) and Chinese Migration Law provides a comprehensive and systematic review of the RLR in international and Chinese migration law. It has been written on the basis of Chinese statutes pertinent to the RLR, also of relevant international instruments and key cases. It investigates RLR in international migration law and practice; analyses RLR in the context of China, and identifies its driving factors; investigates the conditions and practical concerns relevant to the protection of RLR; and concludes with recommendations on how the Chinese regulatory regime governing RLR can be improved.