Presidential Thanksgiving Pardon
President Obama pardons “Cheese” during the White House annual Thanksgiving Ceremony. Representatives of the National Turkey Federation helped hold “Cheese” during the event. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
On November 18, Ambassador Baucus announced the number of Chinese students in the U.S. has once again set a new record! He hopes that the newly announced longer-validity visas will encourage even more exchanges among American and Chinese students.ALSO: Story
Secretary Kerry speaks to Peng Ye, a teacher in China, and the group of fourth-graders she wants to take to the United States to study English, before presenting the children with a 10-year business and tourism visa during a ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China, on November 12, 2014. [State Department photo]ALSO: Story
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, thank you, President Xi, for welcoming me and my delegation to Beijing and for the extraordinary hospitality that you and the Chinese people have shown to me on this state visit. I also want to take this opportunity to thank the people of China for the warmth and kindness they showed my wife Michelle and our daughters, as well as my mother-in-law when they came to visit China earlier this year -- another sign of the enduring friendship between our peoples.
AMBASSADOR BAUCUS: This afternoon I am very pleased to announce that the number of Chinese students in the United States has once again set a new record. According to the 2014 Open Doors Report on International Education Exchange, almost 275,000 Chinese students studied in the United States last year. That’s an increase of almost 39,000 students from the year before.
Thanks to the hard work of both our peoples, Chinese and Americans, we see ties and cooperation between our countries that would have been unthinkable 35 years ago. Our workers, entrepreneurs and businesses are the backbone of a massive trade relationship that supports jobs in both our nations and helps power the global economy.
Thank you, and I would like to thank in particular the Chinese Disabled Persons’ Federation for hosting today’s event. It is a great honor to be with you today, at what I hope will be the start of a robust, substantive, and on-going dialogue on promoting truly equal access and inclusive development for persons with disabilities throughout APEC member economies. Achieving progress will require sustained engagement, and I would also like to congratulate China for its leadership in developing a Group of Friends to continue this important conversation in the months and years ahead.
It is wonderful to be back in China, and I’m grateful for the Chinese people’s extraordinary hospitality. This is my sixth trip to Asia as President, and my second this year alone. And that’s because, as I’ve said on each of my visits, America is a thoroughly Pacific nation. We’ve always had a history with Asia. And our future -- our security and our prosperity -- is inextricably intertwined with Asia. I know the business leaders in attendance today agree.
WHITE HOUSE FACT SHEET: Supporting American Job Growth And Strengthening Ties by Extending U.S./China Visa Validity for Tourists, Business Travelers, and Students
President Obama announced that the United States and the People’s Republic of China are concluding a reciprocal visa validity arrangement during his visit that will strengthen our ever-broadening economic and people-to-people ties. Both countries have agreed to increase the validity of short-term tourist and business visas issued to each other’s citizens from one to ten years – the longest validity possible under U.S. law – and increase the validity of student and exchange visas from one to five years. The United States will begin issuing visas in accordance with the new reciprocal agreement on November 12, 2014.
State Department: U.S., China to Extend Visas for Short-term Business Travelers, Tourists, and Students
Starting November 12, the United States and the People’s Republic of China will reciprocally increase the validity of short-term business and tourist visas and student and exchange visas issued to each other’s citizens. Chinese applicants who qualify for a B-category nonimmigrant visa (NIV) may now be issued multiple-entry visas for up to 10 years for business and tourist travel. Qualified Chinese students and exchange visitors and their dependents who qualify for F, M, or J-category visas are now eligible for multiple-entry visas valid for up to five years or the length of their program.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: The United States and China Agree to Extending Visas for Short-term Business Travelers, Tourists, and Students
Q: What are the benefits of the visa validity extension?U.S. and Chinese citizens who regularly travel back and forth between the U.S. and China will benefit from the longer validity by not having to apply and pay the application fee every year. Businesses in both countries, including the tourism industry, will benefit from increased travel, investment, and business development opportunities between the two countries. Longer visa validity will allow students and exchange visitors to return to their home countries during school and work holidays more easily.
Well, thank you very much, Dean Nasr. I’ve had the privilege of knowing Vali for a while. When I was in the Senate, he was a very valuable advisor, and I can remember coming down to the State Department and meeting with him and with Richard Holbrooke and others in the early days of working on what was then called AfPak – Afghanistan, Pakistan, and particularly Afghanistan. So Vali, thank you for your journey. Thanks for imparting your wisdom here at SAIS. And thank you all very, very much here at SAIS for allowing me to come here today to share a few thoughts with you about this special relationship with China, an important relationship.
The President will travel to China, Burma and Australia from November 10-16. In China from November 10-12, President Obama will attend the APEC Leaders Meeting and APEC CEO Summit. Upon the conclusion of the APEC Leaders Meeting, the President will participate in a state visit with President Xi Jinping of China.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, right, meets in the Pentagon with People’s Republic of China State Councilor Yang Jiechi, second from left, on October 20.
SECRETARY KERRY: Good morning, everybody. I just want to say a couple things. First, my great pleasure to welcome the State Councilor of China Yang Jiechi to Boston. We have a great deal that we will be talking about and already began last night with a very informal and pleasant dinner.
AMBASSADOR BAUCUS: It is very exciting, frankly, to see lots of bright-eyed eager students. I once went to college myself, and seeing all of you in this auditorium like this obviously reminds me of my days when I was a student. I’ve got to tell you, at that time I had no idea what I wanted to be and do. No idea whatsoever. None. I was a typical college student. I studied and I tried to get good grades. I went out at night, had a good time. But by and large, even though I was fairly conscientious as a student, I had no idea what I wanted to be and do.
SECRETARY KERRY: Good afternoon, everybody. It’s my distinct pleasure to welcome His Excellency, the foreign minister of China, Foreign Minister Wang Yi. I met with the foreign minister in July in Beijing for a very productive Strategic & Economic Dialogue.
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I would like to extend our best wishes and congratulations to the people of The People’s Republic of China as you celebrate your 65th National Day on October 1.
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