An email circulating among expat managers in Peking names the countries whose citizens can no longer apply for Chinese visas in Hong Kong, but must do so in their home countries.
These are: Afghanistan, Tunisia, Algeria, Bangladesh , Congo, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Mali, Libya, South Africa, Morocco, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Malaysia, Philippines, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Nepal, Pakistan, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Turkey, Mauritania, Saudi Arab, Sierra Leone, Syria.
This is interesting because it looks very much like a Western country’s visa blacklist: mostly Muslim countries, with a few non-Muslim African ones and some that have other kinds of insurgencies (Nepal, Sri Lanka).
I am surprised, as when I heard of this blacklist I thought it was intended to keep out potential human-rights protesters from offending Western countries. But it seems to be directed against more mainstream “security threats.” Reminds me of a hotel in Shanghai, the Harvest Inn, where the receptionist told me they don’t accept guests from Middle Eastern countries, following an order from the police. (I imagine they are near an American or British facility?)