In an unexpected development, Chinahas restricted Sri Lankan, Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals direct access to Chinese visas from Singaporewhile Indians would not be facing any such restrictions.
It has been learnt from well placed sources that the Chinese Embassy in Singapore earlier this month issued a circular barring the direct entry of Pakistanis living in Singapore into China.
The other two states whose nationals would be affected by this restriction include Bangladeshand Sri Lanka. The nationals of all the three countries have to contact the respective foreign offices of these states, if they intend to acquire visas for China. The same circular instructs all the travel and visa processing agencies not to process visa requests from the aforementioned nationalities seeking Chinese visas from Singapore.
In an email dated March 13, 2010, a copy of which is available with TheNation, a leading travel agency of Singapore informed its Pakistani clients, including those working for the World Bank that it could not process their visa requests for China on account of the instructions of the Chinese Embassy to bar their entry from Singapore to China.
With immediate effect, CHINA VISA has stopped issuing visas for these nationalities - PAKISTAN- BANGLADESH- SRI LANKA - Kindly be advised accordingly, the email reads.
While those Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, and Sri Lankans who have Singapore passports would not be affected by this decision however, thousands of citizens from the same countries who are not Singapore nationals but are contributing significantly in the socio-economic fibre of that country would directly suffer.
A noteworthy number of businessmen, bankers, accountants, computer experts, doctors, and people from other important walks of life in Singapore hail from the South Asian region.