CHINA / DIPLOMACY
Controversial post bears no intent to draw analogy between Chinese students and dogs: US consulate
Published: May 07, 2021 07:23 PM
Deleted post from visa office of US embassy to China's Weibo account Photo: screenshot of Weibo

Deleted post from visa office of US embassy to China's Weibo account Photo: screenshot of Weibo

Diplomats with the US Consulate General in Shanghai told a media round table on Friday that although the Diplopets video practice drew backlash on Chinese social media platforms, the sole purpose was to convey the excitement of the resumption and restart of the student visa service in China, instead of any sense of hostility.

In response to the dog video social media controversy, Pauline Kao, head of public affairs of the US Consulate General in Shanghai said that "Our sole intention was to convey that we are welcoming Chinese students back to the US. There was no malice nor any intention to draw any kind of analogy. But unfortunately, this was very much picked up by social media and the netizens to express a sense of hostility. It was an unfortunate choice; we took down the video."

She added that "we wanted to generate the positive, upbeat and happy news and we were using our social media platforms [to do so]. We have the specific hashtag Diplopets to use pets, the cats and dogs of our colleagues, to share their hobbies and daily life with the public to strengthen people-to-people exchanges."

The head of the consular section in the consulate, said that 30 officials were deployed to handle the visa application, and on average, it takes four to five days for the applicant to receive his or her passport back after the interview. 

Yet the consular section head said that no specific number of visa demand in China can be given, adding policy for students for the so-called sensitive majors (military, science, computer science) has not changed. A fraction of graduate students will be impacted. 

There will be no extra vaccination requirements in student visa application, he added.

Global Times
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