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Cablegate: Consul General Discusses Visa Issues In

VZCZCXRO7885
RR RUEHAST RUEHDH RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD RUEHSL RUEHTM
RUEHTRO
DE RUEHGZ #0507/01 2330600
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 210600Z AUG 09
FM AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0872
INFO RUEHGZ/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE 0239
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE 0015
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0681
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 0177
RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG 0187
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 0176
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 0242
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 0182
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC 0023
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC 0093
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHINGTON DC 0025
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC 0018
RUCNFB/FBI WASHINGTON DC 0017
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC 0053
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC 0230
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC 0226

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 GUANGZHOU 000507

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR CA/P, CA/FPP, CA/VO/L/C, EAP/CM, EEB/CBA,
EEB/ESC
BEIJING FOR CONS, ECON, ESTH, PAS, RSO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CVIS KFRD ETTC PREL ECON CMGT OEXC CH
SUBJECT: Consul General Discusses Visa Issues in
Fujian

REF: A) GUANGZHOU 505, B)STATE 57338; C) BEIJING
817; D) GUANGZHOU 325; E) GUANGZHOU 176

GUANGZHOU 00000507 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) Summary: Visa outreach and the need for
increased cooperation on establishing travel
document authenticity were among the key topics
raised during Consul General Brian Goldbeck's
initial trip to Fujian's provincial capital of
Fuzhou, August 12-14. (See ref A for overview and
other issues.) Discussions with officials and
businesses revealed that additional outreach
activities are needed to help combat inaccurate
visa-related information for three main groups of
travelers Q business leaders concerned about SAO-
related application delays, students victimized by
touts, and legitimate tourists interested in
spending their travel dollars in the United States.
Public security and border control officials said
they want to increase anti-fraud cooperation and
requested Consulate training on the security
features of U.S. official documents to help prevent
human smuggling. End Summary.

Welcoming Legitimate Travel to the United States
--------------------------------------------- ---

2. (SBU) Visa issues and the importance of
facilitating legitimate travel were raised in
several meetings during the Consul General's first
trip to Fujian. These issues were discussed with Su
Zengtian, acting Mayor of Fuzhou, Fuzhou Foreign
Affairs Office (FAO), Entry-Exit Division of the
Public Security Bureau, local members of the
American Chamber of Commerce in South China, and
administrators at Fuzhou University. In each
meeting, the CG emphasized how fraudulent documents
and illegal immigration hurt legitimate travelers.
Fujian interlocutors expressed interest in continued
dialogue between the Consulate and Fujian citizens
as a method to combat misinformation on immigration
issues.

Business Leaders Support Increased Visa Outreach
--------------------------------------------- ---

3. (SBU) American Chamber of Commerce in South China
members in Fujian Province expressed concern about
perceived and actual delays involved in the issuance
of some business travel visas. They noted that
certain employees had been unable to receive visas
in time to attend planned events or conferences,
especially those with hi-tech backgrounds (ref B).
One Amcham member told the CG that some of his
employees experienced wait times as long as 16 weeks
earlier this year. Business leaders also expressed
concern that the clearance process is perceived as
stricter for applicants from Fujian Province because
of its reputation as a center for illegal
immigration (refs D and E). The CG responded to
these concerns by clarifying current procedures and
wait times which he indicated are now down to
approximately four weeks (ref B). Comment:
However, the persistence of these concerns shows
that additional visa outreach to the Fujian business
community is necessary to provide accurate, up-to-
date information on avoiding clearance-related
delays and to facilitate trade and business
exchange. End comment. Amcham members welcomed the
Consulate's offer to visit and explain current
policies and procedures in the near future.

GUANGZHOU 00000507 002.2 OF 002

Student Visa Outreach at Fuzhou University
------------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Visa outreach was also discussed during the
Consul General's meeting with officials from Fuzhou
University, home of 25,000 students. Although
university officials have previously turned down
Consulate offers to provide visa-related information
directly to students, Vice President Wang Jian said
the university is prepared to allow consulate
officers to visit and conduct visa-related outreach.
The CG stressed that legitimate students are hurt
through misinformation provided by unscrupulous
brokers who insert themselves into the visa
application process. Such misleading information
has led some students to purchase fraudulent
documents or misrepresent themselves, which resulted
in some students being permanently barred from
entering the United States.

Expanded Law Enforcement Cooperation Sought
-------------------------------------------

5. (SBU) In an introductory meeting with Deputy
Director Xiao Yuanhong of the Entry and Exit
Administration of the Fujian Provincial Public
Security Department (PSD), the CG, accompanied by
A/RSO (ARSO-I), LES Investigator, Consoff, TDoff,
and Econoff, expressed his gratitude for successful
cooperation on a series of recent joint fraud
investigations. Both the CG and Director Xiao
agreed that further law enforcement cooperation and
direct communication between the Consulate and
Fujian PSD is essential in combating illegal
immigration. Deputy Director Bian Zhiqiang of the
Fujian Border Control Armed Police Force expressed
interest in the Consulate's offer conduct local
training sessions to immigration officials and
border control authorities recognize and prevent the
usage of counterfeit and forged U.S. travel
documents. Director Bian noted that while his
department would clearly benefit from additional
training, it would require the approval of his
superiors in Beijing. Follow-up coordination with
the Fujian Armed Police Force is being handled by
post ARSO-I.

Comment: Local Officials Still Key to Outreach
--------------------------------------------- -

6. (SBU) Most of our Fujian interlocutors agreed
that business and student travel was good for U.S.-
China relations, as well as for the economic growth
of Fujian province. Furthermore, most agreed that
additional outreach would help stem the spread of
the misinformation that is especially virulent in
certain areas of Fujian Province. However, one
prominent FAO official who, unfortunately, also
serves as an important "gatekeeper" for the approval
of public affairs outreach to Fuzhou Universities
opined that there really isn't a need for increased
dialogue between the Consulate and students. She
asserted that students who purchased fake documents
were the ones at fault and seemed unwilling to
address the fact that Consular outreach could fight
misinformation and the reliance on unscrupulous visa
brokers. End Comment.

GOLDBECK

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