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China says US has 'weaponized' visas to target exchanges

China says US has 'weaponized' visas to target exchanges

BEIJING (AP) — China is accusing the U.S. of having "weaponized" the issuing of visas following the reported inability of a top Chinese space program official to obtain permission to travel to a key conference in Washington.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters Wednesday that the head of the Chinese delegation to the International Astronautical Congress wasn't able to obtain a visa, making it difficult for Chinese representatives to attend important events at the meeting.

Reports said the vice chairman of the China National Space Administration, Wu Yanhua, had planned to attend the congress.

Hua said the U.S. has "weaponized" visa issues and "repeatedly defied international responsibilities and obligations and impeded normal international exchanges and cooperation."

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing said it couldn't discuss individual visa cases because of privacy issues.