BEIJING, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- China will fingerprint foreigners when they enter the country, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement Thursday.

In 2017, exit-entry departments across the country will begin to collect the fingerprints of foreign nations aged between 14 and 70. Those holding diplomatic passports or under reciprocal conditions are exempted.

The new system will first be tested at Shenzhen Airport from Feb. 10, said the ministry.

Collection of biometric data including fingerprints is an important border control measure that has been adopted by several countries in the world, the ministry said, adding China's exit-entry departments will strive to improve the efficiency of entry clearance.