What I reproduce below is an unusual news summary but it comes from someone I know personally (I am slightly amazed that three of my old friends are in China these days) so I thought I would pass it on:
At HK airport Sunday night and also in the Herald Tribune I read some interesting details I bet you wont read in China daily. Apparently China stores all its nuclear bombs in this earthquake zone as it's so remote. Also there are a number of nuclear reactors there to make bomb grade plutonium. They are supposed to be all reported as suffering none or little damage.
There was another news item about 2 foreign disaster relief teams from Scotland and Canada who arrived in HK with all their equipment...specialist earthquake relief teams...they tried to join the rescue effort but were refused visas in HK , the visa office their telling them they were not required. They had their own tents , food and specialist equipment to find the living buried in rubble.
After hearing about a Beijing Govt International apeal for International specialist help, they had advised the embassies of China in both Canada and UK they were able to come but received no reply from these embassies. Frustrated they flew out to HK anyway with all their gear only to be refused visas . They were returning home Monday.
In other articles there are lots of stories about people being refused visas to China in HK . Apparently the China Govt is now asking all Nationals to return to their home countries to get visas. Multiple entry visas are no longer being issued. Many foreigners who own businesses in China are whinging [complaining] as they need to come and go at short notice and now there are huge queues at the only mainland HK visa issuing office in Wanchai.
The situation is obviously very confused because I flew to Beijing OK last Thursday night without a Hotel voucher requirement and using the multiple entry visa in my passport which expires October 2008. However the Dragon Air flight was alomost empty...I have never seen a plane more empty....an A330 airbus capable of carrying up to 350 people with about 50 people on it.
At the new airport in Beijing I was stamped in without any questions. The China Govt seems to be getting more paranoid as the Olympics approaches.
Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH