U.S. Embassies, Consulates in China Temporarily Open on Saturdays
On June 18, 2010, the Department of State announced that the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, along with four U.S. consulates general across China, is opening on Saturdays “over the next few weeks” to accommodate thousands of Chinese travelers seeking visas to visit the U.S.
Trade, commerce, people-to-people exchanges, and tourism between China and the U.S. have grown dramatically over the past few years, the Department noted. In 2009, U.S. consulates in China issued more than 487,000 visas to Chinese travelers. Sixty-six percent were for business and tourism. Growth in 2010 has been even more dramatic, with China’s 2010 visa load up 28 percent over the same period last year.