According to the AP reports from Beijing citizens of the US and Mexico who apply for a Chinese visa are having to wait for 6 days or more from the past 1 day wait for visa approval. I remember my first 3 visa applications to China I was able to get those in the same day from Chicago. The change was just announced May 3rd, Chinese Labor Day holiday, and is in effect indefinately. All US applicants for all Chinese visas, including tourist and business categories are also required to fill out a form declaring which countries and U.S. states they had visited in the last two weeks. This is also in effect to Mexican citizens and comes a few days after 70 Mexicans have been detained and quaranteened and an airplane chartered to return them from mainland China to Mexico this week.
The odd thing is despite 29 Canadian students and professor being quaranteened for a week here the same visa restrictions are not being applied to Canada or even Spain where H1N1 has been identified and is not contained in. According to the AP report Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu refused to elaborate on specific visa changes for Americans only stating "relevant adjustment (to the visa policy) is non-discriminatory and is not targeted at any country. The adjustment of visa policy will not affect the normal entry of foreigners and exchanges of people." however the new rule does not appear to be applied to any other country where swine flu has also been reported.
So if China is stating that the new 6 day wait time in visa application approval is not discriminatory yet they only apply it to Mexico and the United States and not Canada, Spain, or ALL nations then someone needs to get the Chinese government an English dictionary as this is a clear cut case of discrimination based on nationality and a clear cut example of singling out a specific peoples. Now if the real intent is to protect the Chinese public from H1N1 then they should be overt about that. That is very understandable and will draw slight to NO condemnation as China is the world’s most populist country with over 1.3 billion people and living in a city of 13+ million people I can attest I want the Chinese government to do the most it can to protect Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shengen, and other cities over 8 million that are frequented by foreigners from countries where H1N1 has been active. Saying one thing and doing the opposite is a lesson Beijing does not need to begin following that is prolifant in American politics. If China’s real intent is to lesson the chance of H1N1 exposure in China then they should state this and make appropriate policies to acheive this and state it publically. Who is going to make any real noise about this? If the flu strain gets into the population here and mutates and spreads then the whlole world is at a greater risk. Just do and say the same thing, no need to institute political correctness here.