China's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday quashed rumors it had stopped issuing multiple-entry visas to foreigners, saying the country had never controlled the number of visas issued.
A Foreign Ministry Consular Department senior official said such rumors were "ungrounded", adding the Chinese embassies and consulates abroad had been issuing multiple-entry visas to those who met the requirements, and that it had never cut down the amount of visas.
He added China decided whether to issue the visa, the visa type, as well as the period of validity and period of stay, in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.
To ensure a smooth entry into China, he suggested foreigners to apply for visas in advance in their home or resident country.
The official said China had attracted increasing number of foreigners since its reform and opening-up. According to Foreign Ministry statistics, China issued 6.51 million visas to foreigners in 2005, 7.4 million in 2006, and 8.13 million in 2007.
To facilitate personnel exchanges among China and foreign countries, the Chinese Foreign Ministry had put forward a series of positive measures for foreigners' visa applications, the official said.
(Xinhua News Agency May 29, 2008)