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China Refuses Payment of Korean-language Test Fees

Posted October. 12, 2010 08:51,   


A state-run human resources agency said Monday that the Chinese government has not paid registration fees for a Korean-language proficiency test for nearly two years.

The Korea Human Resources Development Service under the Employment and Labor Ministry said, “Beijing has yet to pay about 87,000 U.S. dollars in registration fees for the first Korean-language proficiency test conducted in China in December 2008.”

In April 2007, China required all of its nationals (excluding ethnic Koreans) seeking employment in Korea to take the test after Seoul and Beijing exchanged a memorandum of understanding on a permission-based employment system. The registration fee was set at 17 dollars per person, and 7,200 out of 10,200 Chinese who took the test passed.

China has not paid the fees, however, despite agreeing to pay half under a bilateral treaty. Other countries that run Korean-language tests, including Thailand and Indonesia, have paid fees within two or three months at the latest after a test.

The human resources agency said, “Not all people who pass the test can find jobs in Korea. But China’s Commerce Ministry has delayed payment of the registration fees, demanding employment of (all) people who passed the test.”

A foreigner who wants to find a job in Korea under the permission-based employment system must first pass the Korean-language test by scoring 40 points or higher out of the maximum 100 points and a physical in his or her country.

The lists of candidates from the Labor Ministry holds three times the number of jobseekers needed by Korean employers, which apply for the number of staff they need before signing labor contracts.

An agency source said, “The selection of employees is conducted at the employers’ discretion, and the government cannot force them to hire workers.”

“Asking Korea to employ all those who pass the Korean-language proficiency test is simply absurd and goes beyond the scope of normal practice.”

The agency added, “Non-payment of the registration fees is a problem, but more serious is that Chinese who took the Korean-language test to land jobs in Korea have many complaints because they pinned their hopes on Korea for employment,” adding the Chinese government is blaming Korea as completely responsible.