I am planning a trip to China and will be flying to my final destination via Beijing (PEK). At what point do I go through passport control: at Beijing (i.e. before boarding my second, domestic flight) or at my final destination? I want to make sure there is enough time in my layover for a long passport line.
Ooh, I was literally there last night...well, yesterday their time!
I arrived from Tokyo, Japan. All passengers disembark at the same time, and then around the corner there are two lines - international transit, and other. If you're flying domestic, this is the point at which you enter China, as anyone who wasn't joining me for more international flying was going through that line on the right.
After that it was chaos at security, bag checks, they confiscated my big phone charger for not having power labels on it, go figure, but it took me about 30 min in transit, so I'd add on a bit. They did seem to have a lot more passport officers for the line you'd go through than they did for us transit people - although we still got checked, for some reason.
I did this once - a few years ago. I arrived in Beijing on Emirates Airways and was transferring to a domestic flight on China Airlines. The three legs (London to Dubai to Beijing to Dalian) were on the same ticket/reservation.
If I remember correctly, I did have to go through the passport and visa checks in Beijing airport. I also had to get and recheck my luggage onto the domestic flight - but this was done similarly to how you get/recheck your luggage if you are transferring in the USA (i.e. separate location).
All of this was in the middle of a night (flight arriving in Beijing about midnight with the flight to Dalian leaving around 6 am) - yet, I remember there being quite a few passport officers. The whole process (walking from the gate, passport checks, luggage reclaim/recheck) took about 45 minutes.
This was about 7 or 8 years ago though, so I don't know whether anything has changed since then. I also don't know whether it matters that the internal flight was on a different airline; although this part would have no impact on the passport/visa control.