Nearly 500,000 Chinese have received non-immigrant US visas in 2009, up 5 percent annually, according to the latest briefing at American embassy in Beijing on Wednesday, Chinanews.com.cn reported.
Twenty percent of the visas issued were granted to students and exchange visitors planning to study or do research in the US, said Jon Huntsman, the American Ambassador to China.
Huntsman added that in 1979, the year when China first established diplomatic relationships with the US, only 4,700 non-immigrant US visas were issued. In three decades, that number has centupled.
The mandarin-fluent envoy’s briefing, in an attempt to tame bilateral tensions, came at a time when Washington’s arbitrary arms sales to Taiwan fumed Beijing to the hilt and threatened to chill their cross-Pacific ties into a nadir. (China Daily)