US rejects China claim of weaponizing visas

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The US is rejecting Chinese accusations of using the withholding of visas as a weapon following the reported inability of a top Chinese space program official to obtain permission to travel to a major conference in Washington.

State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement that the US rejects the Chinese foreign ministry’s “unfounded and baseless characterization” of US visa policies toward China following the dispute over this week’s International Astronautical Congress.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Wednesday accused the US of having “weaponized” the issuance of visas in violation of international norms.

Reports said the vice chairman of the China National Space Administration, Wu Yanhua, had planned to attend the congress but wasn’t issued a visa.

Wu is also a leading official overseeing China’s arms industry.

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