“China vs US Passport Differences” Chinese Internet Rumor

People's Republic of China passport and United States of America passport side by side.

People's Republic of China passport and United States of America passport side by side.

From Mop:

Are American passports and Chinese passports really that different?

Someone once told me that there was a netizen who posted on weibo saying there were differences between Chinese and American passports: “In American passports, there is a sentence like: No matter where you are, the United States government is always behind you” whereas in Chinese passports the sentence is only like: “Please strictly comply with local laws and respect the customs there.”

Within one day, this weibo was reposted/forwarded nearly 6000 times and with nearly 2000 comments as well. In comments by netizens, most were negative comments and malicious conjecture, with one netizen commenting: “Chinese people have always endured if they can, so much that they’ve become Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

On Baidu, I also discovered that there are over a million webpages related to the text “China and US passport differences”.

The above saying hooked my curiosity, because to be honest, I’ve never looked so closely at the two passports. So I found two passports and carefully compared them.

The front is more or less the same, only a difference in color.

First page of Chinese passport: "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China requests all civil and military authorities of foreign countries to allow the bearer of this passport to pass freely and afford assistance in case of need."

The first page of a China passport, simple and to the point.

Page one of an American passport.

The content of this page in the United States passport is about the same as the above page in the Chinese passport, except the wording is slightly more rigorous and in three languages: English, French, and Spanish.

Page 2 and 3 of a US passport.

The information page is more or less the same, except that American children immediately get their own separate passport upon birth, look how she isn’t yet 3 years old but has a passport.

Last page and inside back cover of a Chinese passport.

In comparison, the American [passport] is more verbose, but in comparison to the above Chinese passport, the information listed is about the same.

1. Others using your passport is illegal.
2. This passport is United States government property.
3. If lost, report to the police.
4. Alterations and forgeries are illegal.

Additionally, it provides a page used to fill in your address and emergency contact information, so that when you are traveling abroad and there is any emergency situation, the embassy and foreign government can immediately get in touch with the passport holder’s relatives.

Pages 4 and 5 of an American passport.

This page is especially detailed, but roughly translated is:

When traveling abroad,

1. The government website for travel information and warnings.

2. The telephone number and website for health and vaccinations information.

3. Health insurance information.

4. Must have valid signed passport and foreign entry visa.

5. Fill in emergency contact information.

6. Don’t violate local laws (saying this is on Chinese passports is a false rumor, whereas it actually is on American passports).

7. Don’t carry illegal drugs.

8. Pay attention to safety.

9. Beware of security threats, watch your luggage, and do not accept packages from strangers.

10. In event of a natural disaster, remember to contact family as soon as possible.

11. Remember to register with the United States embassy.

12. Take precautionary measures to avoid your child being abducted.

13. Beware of things that could cancel citizenship, this item is particularly detailed and split into several points:

a. Taking another country’s nationality
b. Pledging allegiance to another country
c. Joining the military of another country
d. Working for another country’s government (alludes to spying)
e. Formally renouncing American nationality.

13. Dual-citizens may be limited by the laws of the other citizenship, and the American government may not be able to help you.

Pages 6 and 7 of a US passport.

The last page and inside back cover of a US passport.

This is the last page but it lists government departments and contact information for obtaining information regarding goods, customs, agricultural products, tax, social security, etc.

Closely compared, there doesn’t seem to be much difference, nor is it as extreme as some netizens say?!

Actually, the true difference is intangible, such as the number of countries not requiring visas for Chinese passport holders is less than 20, and they are all less developed countries and small countries one wouldn’t stay in, whereas American passport holders, well, I needn’t mention…

Comments from Mop:


What can we do, it isn’t our fault that our country is a developing country.


USA, these three letters stand for N13.


I want an American’s passport!


We’re not one level lower than others, we’re many levels lower than others. In the universe, [our passport] is just slightly better than North Korean passports!


What fucking use is it to discuss these things, I just know that going anywhere with a Chinese passport requires applying for a visa, whereas American and Japanese both have over 100 countries where visas are not required. This is the difference!!!


If even you look down upon yourself, then there really is no one who will respect you, but please don’t spread this kind of mentally retarded opinion on the internet, because it’ll make people think all Chinese netizens are this uncultured/uneducated.


Even going to our own country’s Hong Kong and Macau requires a visa and you hope for other countries to not require a visa? Oh great China.


Everyone wake up, don’t you think this is stupid? Right now Americans are being killed around the world. “Distant water can’t put out a close fire”. When you’re already dead, can the military rush there in time [to save you]? Another thing, don’t you think this is the same idea as “My dad is Li Gang“? Bullying others/throwing your weight around because of your connections. Not going out and flaunting your superiority is what is safe, but fucking strutting when you go out, sooner or later you’re going to be fucked.

[This commenter is referring to the false rumor addressed by the original poster that the US passport says the government will always protect you wherever you are, suggesting that it is cocky and arrogant.]


Nowadays attacking the government and the Communist Party is a kind of trend/fashion, and 2B people normally only know to follow suit.
Truth and lies mixed together, you can never finished explaining/arguing.


China has too many people, so if there’s a fear that not requiring visas would result in Chinese people collectively going to a country. Wouldn’t that country be ruined????


China’s Hong Kong/Macau travel permit allows one to only stay 7 days in Hong Kong whereas those with British passports don’t need visas and can stay 90 days. Fuck, is Hong Kong part of China or not?


Anyone can complain, but who can in a short amount of time change these things?


It is said that these days those holding Chinese passports abroad are all regarded as rich people and luxury goods consumers and no matter what will treat you like the boss…


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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