The Ministry of Public Security will start issuing a new pass for Hong Kong and Macao residents to use to travel to the mainland, according to a statement from the ministry on Sunday.
From Jan. 2, 2013, Hong Kong and Macao residents can apply for the new pass that features upgraded anti-counterfeiting technology, including an embedded electronic chip, physical anti-forgery methods and digital safeguarding procedures, the ministry said.
The period of validity for people under 18 will be extended to five years from three years with the new pass, and Hong Kong and Macao residents can enter the mainland via a third country with the pass, the ministry said.
According to the ministry, relevant policies and services for Hong Kong and Macao residents to travel to the mainland remain the same, and old passes that have not expired can still be used.
The current pass for Hong Kong and Macao residents to travel to the mainland started in 1999. In 2011, 206 million travels from Hong Kong and Macao to the mainland with the pass were registered.