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After Big Stick, Beijing's Immigrants Get 72-Hour Carrot

SINA NEWS (China)

BEIJING - The capital of China wants you! (Or at least, may not kick you out quite so fast...)

Making that point, at least with a gesture, the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau has announced plans to allow foreigners to enter without a visa for 72 hours, Sina News is reporting. The director of the Beijing Public Bureau, Fu Chenghua, said the capital is in the midst of various opening-up measures to make the capital a more global city. The 72 hour visa-free entry is considered the symbolic centerpiece of this effort.

Currently, there are 200,000 foreigners living in Beijing. Among those just 721 hold a permanent resident permit. In light of this, Fu said that in order to implement the visa-free measure, Beijing will need to first create a better environment to safeguard the capital's security and maintain order by monitoring foreigners.

Two weeks ago, the Beijing Public Bureau announced a "Hundred Days Special Action" from May 15th to the end of August, aiming to "clean up" the foreigners who have entered, stayed, and worked in the capital illegally. Fu stated that this special action was part of a normal policing activity, and similar to law enforcement behavior in all countries with the rule of law.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

A Decisive Spring? How Ukraine Plans To Beat Back Putin's Coming Offensive

The next months will be decisive in the war between Moscow and Kyiv. From the forests of Polesia to Chernihiv and the Black Sea, Ukraine is looking to protect the areas that may soon be the theater of Moscow's announced offensive. Will this be the last Russian Spring?

Photo of three ​Ukrainian soldiers in trenches near Bakhmut, Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers in trenches near Bakhmut, Ukraine

Anna Akage

Ukrainian forces are digging new fortifications and preparing battle plans along the entire frontline as spring, and a probable new Russian advance, nears.

But this may be the last spring for occupying Russian forces.

"Spring and early summer will be decisive in the war. If the great Russian offensive planned for this time fails, it will be the downfall of Russia and Putin," said Vadym Skibitsky, the deputy head of Ukrainian military intelligence.

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Skinitysky added that Ukraine believes Russia is planning a new offensive in the spring or early summer. The Institute for the Study of War thinks that such an offensive is more likely to come from the occupied territories of Luhansk and Donetsk than from Belarus, as some have feared.

Still, the possibility of an attack by Belarus should not be dismissed entirely — all the more so because, in recent weeks, a flurry of MiG fighter jet activity in Belarusian airspace has prompted a number of air raid alarms throughout Ukraine.

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