[photopress:ticket_and_visa_2.JPG,full,alignright]For a while, getting a Chinese visa was not easy. The people staffing the office, particularly in Australia, went through a rudeness test. Then it became apparent that tourism and business are good thing for an economy and the whole process what transformed into a stress-free delight. (The Sydney office deserves a special mention. The commissionaire there treats you as an honored guest.)
Because of political demonstrations — Tibet and Dafur — Chinese officials have again put the clamp on visa restrictions and this just ahead of the Olympic Games.
The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China cited members’ reports of refused applications for multiple-entry business visas and rush services, and for shortened validity periods on approved visas. Some members were being told to return to their home countries in order to apply for business visa renewals.
Joerg Wuttke, president of the European chamber in China said, ‘This benefits no one. These new practices make the possibility of traveling to China for business uncertain and increase travel costs by limiting the number of entries per visa.
On April 18, the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong sent a sharply worded letter to Beijing’s representative in Hong Kong about what it called ‘clearly a significant change in business and tourism visa policies.’ The letter, written by AmCham President Richard Vuylsteke and addressed to Foreign Ministry commissioner Lu Xinhua, included a summary of replies from a snap survey the chamber conducted among its members, detailing the headaches business travelers are facing.
Richard Vuylsetke wrote, ‘These recent changes and, even more so, the way in which they have been implemented is a significant step backwards.’
Source: Wall Street Journal
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