China to require fingerprints of all foreign visitors as new security step

China's Ministry of Public Security said today that starting on Friday–tomorrow–at one airport then at others, the government will begin recording fingerprints of each foreign visitor upon arrival. China is ramping up security along its borders, according to reports in state media.

From Reuters:

The fingerprinting of foreigners will be introduced at Shenzhen airport in the south from Friday, and it will then be gradually rolled out at other entry points around the country, the ministry said in a statement.

All foreign passport holders aged 14-70 will have to give their fingerprints, it said, without saying if other biometric data would also be collected.

The ministry said the regulation would strengthen immigration controls and increase efficiency.

The United States is among a number of countries that have similar requirements in place. Japan, Taiwan and Cambodia, are among the others.

PHOTO: Passengers disembark from a China United Airlines aircraft after landing at the Nanyuan Airport in Beijing. Photo: Reuters