The Chinese visa policy seems rather roundabout.
China is Sri Lanka’s new big brother, which is kinda creepy but kinda fine, cause China and Chinese people are cool. I want to visit and a friend was going, but her visa got denied. Not her visa though, apparently no single Sri Lankan tourist can just go to China. We have to go in groups of five. Presumably with minders. Uncool.
I wouldn’t believe it but this just happened to a friend. A friend living in Beijing referred me to this rare bit of public interaction from the Chinese Embassy in Colombo. It’s a comment on a thread
Evarad | May 14, 2011
can 2 passengers apply for individual tourism visa to china
Visa Assistant | May 14, 2011
No, there should be at least 5 people to form a group. Individual tourism visa to china is not issued for Sri Lankan nationalities. (Chinese Embassy In Sri Lanka))
To which I would say ‘what whaaat?’, but this is apparently true still. I mean, it just happened.
While I thank China for giving our governators a credit card, building highways (cool) and ports and power plants (less cool, cause they don’t work), giving us gifts (like Nelum Pokuna) and sending us convict labor and prostitutes, I think it would only be fair of Big Brother to let us, like, visit.
There is nothing more important for social commerce and friendship between nations than simply letting people visit each other. I know people who go to China for business regularly, but this tourism visa thing is new to me. I want to go soon, but it’s also kinda worrying (though I’m dual and may have an option).
The five pax requirement is clearly onerous and limits you to package tours rather than exploring and actually experiencing China. Apparently there are exceptions for relatives of people working in China but that’s still deeply uncool.
As much as the American government gives us shit diplomatically, the social commerce between our nations is still good. I mean, two of the President’s brothers lived there, and the Army Commander had a green card. Both the US and UK can be tough with the visa, but they still give them.
So, China Aiya, it’s only hospitable. Let Sri Lankan tourists visit unhindered.