What China experts have to do to get on Beijing’s Visa ‘Whitelist’
“I call it a ‘whitelist,’” the Chinese government official told me. Beijing, he explained, wanted to reward academics, scholars and business people who spoke positively about the U.S.-China relationship, promoted engagement and overlooked Chinese human rights abuses. “We don’t want people critical of China” visiting China, said the official, who asked to speak anonymously when I met him in New York in August. So Chinese officials in the United States are creating a list of China-watchers whom they will reward with multiple-entry visas. I asked him to share the list, and he replied that it was confidential; he did say, though, that those who “signed the open letter” in The Post would certainly be viewed favorably.
He was referring to an article published in The Post on July 4 and signed by dozens of prominent American scholars, business people and former government officials. Entitled “China is not an enemy,” the open letter expressed deep concern “about the growing deterioration in U.S. relations with China” and argued that “the fear that Beijing will replace the United States as the global leader is exaggerated.” Some of its signatories, my source said, had already received the coveted visas.