I can’t understand this last antic of the Chinese government, that of not issuing any multiple-entry visas, not even for permanent residents of Hong Kong, until after the OLYMPICS, (a word that is fast becoming as tedious as the expression “Hong Kong – Asia’s World City.”)
What exactly is it they hope to achieve? Yeah all right, so they will make millions of yuan from all those who depend on going into the mainland several times a week or month for their livelihood, and who must now pay almost as much for one visit as they before paid for six months or a year’s worth.
But surely they could have got the same or almost the same money by changing the deal they have with that staunch upholder of public health and sports people’s staple, McDonald’s,Â OLYMPICS sponsor numero uno? After all, the Chinese government has (have, I never know which, help me people!) never been shy of backing down on or changing exorbitantly, deals?
If it’s money they’re after, one would think that by making it easier for people to get into China instead of harder, rich dividends could be reaped. (Raped)
Or is the new visa deal, where it now takes four days to be issued a visa instead of one, put into being so that the immigration people can search more carefully the background of the applicant to make sure that the seemingly innocent tourist isn’t in fact a rabid journalist who might report unfavourably on the situation in Tibet and other places?
Is the sudden decision not to let people be issued short-term visas on the border points between HK and China anymore (until the end of the OLYMPICS) to keep certain individuals who might otherwise have gone shopping, out? Just in case?
You can roll me in flour and fry me in butter as we say in Norwegian, but I still don’t understand. Wasn’t this whole OLYMPICS malarkey supposed to be all about China promising to become more open, let all journalists report freely, yes, even as mentioned in the news today, allow protesters to protest from a specially designed protester pen in the very heart of Beijing itself, or outskirts?
Today the ever reliable South China Morning Post, fortunately, came up with the answer to all the questions milling around in my head. The new visa situation is of course because the visa issuing office needs to upgrade its computer system.
Thank god – and here I was being suspicious again. Between now and, as it happens, the end of August, the computers, but of course, need to be taken care of. Now it all makes sense. Â Well, ha-ha, my three-year multiple entry visa fortunately runs out not before -Â August!Â
SoÂ like all good Norwegians before me, after this Tibet crackdown thingy happened, I will be earnestly debating with myself whether or not I should boycott the opening ceremony of the OLYMPICS. And unlike those Norwegians, I will actually do it. That should teach them!Â Â