• Travelers carrying luggage walk through an airport.

Travelers carrying luggage walk through an airport. (Photo : Getty Images)

A record-breaking 1,570 foreigners were granted citizenship by the Chinese government last year, which is 163 percent higher compared to 2015.

According to China’s Ministry of Public Security, while this is the highest in the history of the Communist nation, the timing of the release of the figures of granting permanent citizenship to foreigners coincides with the issues over U.S. President Donald Trump trying to impose strict restrictions over the entry of foreigners and immigrants, especially from seven Muslim-majority countries.

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NDTV reported that at present, China allows 72-hour visa-free entry for nationals of certain countries to 15 Chinese cities; while Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang offer 144-hour visa-free stays for international transit passengers from certain countries.

Since Sept. 2015, China has made residency and entry policies smoother for foreigners, boosting international exchanges and the economy and attracting more talents from overseas.

Foreign experts are also welcome as they invest billions of dollars in advanced technology.

Like Chinese citizens, foreigners with permanent residents have the right to investment, schooling and house purchases, among other rights.

Since these new measures were implemented a year after, there was a year-on-year increase of six times over the number of permanent residence applications from foreigners and their families.

Last year, the number of such applications increased 426 percent from that of 2015. Foreigners also made over 56.5 million trips to China, up 8.9 percent from 2015.

Chinese Culture summarized how foreigners can become Chinese citizens.

Under the Article 7 of the Nationality Law, foreigners who will abide by the Chinese Constitution and laws can apply to be naturalized as Chinese citizens if they meet one of the following conditions:

1) They have close relatives who are Chinese nationals;
2) They have settled in China;
3) They have other legitimate reasons.

Applicants can submit their applications for citizenship at local Public Security Bureaus in China.

If abroad, applicants can submit their citizenship applications at Chinese embassies and consular offices. Submitted documents will be examined, approved or dismissed by the Ministry of Public Security.

If approved, applicants will receive a certificate of citizenship.