China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce ®
Hong Kong.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce ®
Hong Kong.China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce ®

"Hawaii-China Guan Xi, We Get Things Done" - Trade Advocacy Organization

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Health and Travel Alert  

June 09, 2010

The U.S. Department of State announces changes to the U.S. nonimmigrant visa application fee

Non-diplomatic and non-official visas issued by United States consular officers abroad require a visa application fee which covers the costs associated with manufacturing, processing, and printing visas.

Effective June 4, 2010, the current U.S. nonimmigrant visa (NIV) application fee of US$131 will increase. All applicants applying for NIVs in China must pay the non-refundable application fee at designated branches of China CITIC Bank. Both copies of the CITIC Bank fee receipt must be included with your visa application. The application fee is non-refundable regardless of whether your visa is issued. Applicants who have paid the application fee but fail to submit applications within one year will not have their application fee refunded.

As of June 4, 2010, nonimmigrant visa application fees will change to the following:

NIV application processing fees will increase on June 4, 2010 and will be tiered as shown below. There will no longer be one single visa application fee for all nonimmigrant categories.

Description and amounts:

Non-petition-based visas, such as the B1/B2 (tourism, business), F1 (student) or J1 (exchange visitor) are now US$140 (RMB 966)
Petition-based visas, such as the H (work), L (intra-company transferee), O (extraordinary ability), P (performer), Q (cultural exchange), or R (religious worker) are now US$150 (RMB 1035)
K (fiancé/fiancée visas) are now US$350 (RMB 2415)
Important note: The correct fee receipt for the full and appropriate amount for the visa type being applied for must be presented on the day of application. Beginning on June 4, applicants who have already purchased fee receipts for the previous fee amount (US$131) must provide a receipt from CITIC Bank for the difference between the old and new fees to show that the full amount is paid. As of Monday, May 31, new fee receipts for the full amount or, if applicable, for the difference between new and old amounts, can be purchased at any CITIC Bank branch. Your application cannot be processed without the correct fee receipt.

For complete information regarding the new fee schedule, please visit:





B1/B2(旅游、商务),F1(学生)或J1(交流访问人员): 140美元 (人民币966元);
H(工作)、L(公司内调遣)、O(特殊才能)、P(演艺人员)、Q(文化交流)及R(宗教工作者): 150美元 (人民币1035元);
K(配偶签证): 350美元 (人民币2415元)。


January 22 2010

Hawaii Unemployment Insurance Tax 2010

Hong Kong.China.Hawaii Chamber of Commerce (HKCHcc) is working collaborative with the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii through the legislative process to lessen the impact of the substantial increase of the unemployment tax.

Critical hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, January 26 2010 9:00am

January 3 2010

US toughens air travel screening rules

Air travelers from Nigeria, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and nine other countries will face full-body pat downs before boarding airliners under new security screening procedures targeting foreign passengers announced by the United States on Sunday.

The procedures, which go into effect on Monday, follow the botched Christmas Day bombing attempt on a Detroit-bound US airliner blamed on a Nigerian man who US officials believe was trained by al-Qaeda in Yemen.

Passengers traveling from or through nations listed as “state sponsors of terrorism” – Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria – as well as Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen will face heightened screening, an Obama administration official said.

Nearly all of those are Muslim countries.

Such passengers will be patted down, have their carry-on luggage searched and could undergo advanced explosive detection or imaging scans, according to the official, who spoke on condition on anonymity.

The Transportation Security Administration, the US agency responsible for air security measures, announced the “enhanced screening” procedures, adding that any passengers on US-bound flights could be subjected to random security searches.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian, was arrested by US authorities after being accused of carrying a bomb sewn into his underwear onto a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on December 25. He got through security screening in Amsterdam, and was subdued by passengers and crew after trying to blow up the plane.

US President Barack Obama said on Friday it appeared Abdulmutallab was a member of al-Qaeda and had been trained and equipped by the Islamic militant network in Yemen.

The announcement of the new security steps comes amid rising criticism by US Republicans and others that American diplomatic and intelligence officials failed to prevent the Dec. 25 incident despite having evidence about Abdulmutallab.

US intelligence officials have said they believe that al-Qaeda leaders are hiding out in Pakistan after being chased from Afghanistan during the war that began in 2001 in the weeks after the group’s Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. Most of the men who carried out the September 11 hijackings of US airliners were Saudi-born.

Yemen also is emerging as a major area of al-Qaeda activity, according to security experts.

The new rules apply to anyone with a passport from any of the 14 countries, and anyone stopping in those countries, the administration official said.

The Transportation Security Administration said it issued security directives to all US and international airlines with inbound flights to the United States that would include random screening of passengers. This random screening policy applies to any airport in the world for flights coming to the United States, the official said.

“Because effective aviation security must begin beyond our borders, and as a result of extraordinary cooperation from our global aviation partners, TSA is mandating that every individual flying into the US from anywhere in the world traveling from or through nations that are state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest will be required to go through enhanced screening,” the agency said in the statement.

“The directive also increases the use of enhanced screening technologies and mandates threat-based and random screening for passengers on US-bound international flights,” it added.

All passengers are screened electronically for weapons and bombs regardless, and the new rules that include random enhancements appear more agreeable to airlines, which chaffed at broad requirements imposed after the December 25 incident.

Carriers complained about widespread delays and other passenger inconveniences, especially in Canada and Europe.

However, airlines will not be able to assess the full impact of the new regime on their operations for a few days.

Last week, airlines told Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano that the system could not manage efficiently under a 100 per cent pat-down mandate over the long term. Any changes to that routine would be welcome.

“Our goal remains to improve security and reduce the hassle factor for passengers,” the International Air Transport Association, the lead trade group for international airlines, said in a statement.

There were 25 million visitors to the United States in 2008 from Europe and Asia, according to IATA figures.

Carriers with transatlantic and transpacific flying include Delta Air Lines; Continental Airlines; American Airlines, a unit of AMR Corporation; United Airlines, a unit of UAL; British Airways; Air France/KLM; Germany’s Lufthansa; and Japan Airlines.

September 21 2009

IRS extends amnesty program for tax cheats

The IRS is extending the Wednesday deadline for international tax dodgers to apply for an amnesty program in order to give a rush of applicants more time to prepare their paperwork.

More than 3,000 Americans hiding assets overseas have applied for the program, which promises no jail time and reduced penalties for tax cheats who come forward, said a government official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Internal Revenue Service plans to announce later on Monday that the program will be extended until October 15, said the official, who was not authorized to speak on the record ahead of the public announcement.

The IRS long has had a policy that certain tax evaders who come forward before they are contacted by the agency usually can avoid jail time as long as they agree to pay back taxes, interest and hefty penalties. Drug dealers and money launderers need not apply. But if the money was earned legally, tax evaders can usually avoid criminal prosecution.

Fewer than 100 people apply for the program in a typical year, in part because the penalties can far exceed the value of the hidden account, depending on how long the account holder has evaded US taxes.

But in March, the IRS began a six-month amnesty program that sweetened the offer with reduced penalties for people with undeclared assets.

As the initial deadline approached, the IRS was contacted by tax advisers from across the country requesting more time to prepare applications from a rush of tax cheats looking to come clean, the government official said.

The amnesty program is part of a larger effort by federal authorities to crack down on international tax evaders. In August, the US and Switzerland resolved a court case in which Swiss banking giant UBS AG agreed to turn over details on 4,450 accounts suspected of holding undeclared assets from American customers.

The process of turning over that information is expected to take several months. But once the IRS obtains information about international tax dodgers, they will be ineligible for the amnesty program.

Publicity from the UBS case, even before the agreement was announced, had many wealthy Americans with offshore accounts nervously running to their tax advisers.

Lawyers and advisers from several firms have said they were swamped with calls from people hiding assets overseas. Their advice: Call the IRS before the IRS calls you.

On the Net: 

September 17 2009

DO NOT BREAK US TAX LAW - IRS Enforces Foreign Bank Account Reporting

Ms. Chinchie Killfoil, US, Internal Revenue Service Tax Attaché, US Embassy, Beijing, China, addressing the requirements and penalties of the Foreign Bank Account Reporting (FBAR) and the IRS Voluntary Disclosure Program.

* If you own or have authority over a foreign financial account, including a bank account, brokerage account, mutual fund, unit trust, or other types of financial accounts, then you may be required to report the account yearly to the Internal Revenue Service.
* Account holders who do not comply with the FBAR reporting requirements may be subject to civil penalties, criminal penalties, or both.

The IRS is cracking down on the filing of the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts.

TR-90-22.1, can be downloaded here:

Please make sure you are in compliance to avoid prosecution.
Filing deadline is SEPTEMBER 23, 2009.

June 11,  2009

Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response

Daily virtual press briefings - Audio files and transcripts from the briefings

Watch World Health Organization June 12 2009 Video Online

The WHO chief declared here Thursday that the organization has decided to move its A/H1N1 flu alert level to phase six and the widely spreading flu has developed into a full pandemic. Margaret Chan told a news conference that the full pandemic in 41 years was assessed as a "moderate" one. "On the basis of available evidence, the scientific criteria for an influenza pandemic has been met. I have therefore decided to raise the level of pandemic alert from phase 5 to phase 6, the world is now at the start of the pandemic," she said. The WHO do not suggest closing borders and urge countries do not pose restrictions on movement of people, goods and services, she said. The chief said that more flu deaths are expected, but no sudden jump in the death toll. She also urged to stop production of seasonal flu vaccine and turn to A/H1N1 flu vaccine production. The decision was made following consultations with world experts through a teleconference. A WHO statement has been sent to the WHO's members. The declaration is expected amid concerns that the A/H1N1 flu virus, which originated from Mexico two months ago, has widely spread to Asia, Europe, and the Americas. The WHO has raised the alert level to five at the end of April, the penultimate level in its six grades, indicating a pandemic was "imminent." And many experts have been expecting the upgrade of the flu due to its fast-spreading nature. However, experts explained that the highest level by no means indicates the greatest severity of the disease, but simply indicates the geographical spread of this flu. This is the first global flu epidemic in 41 years. As of Wednesday, 74 countries have officially reported 27,737 A/H1N1 infection cases to the WHO, including 141 deaths.

December 11, 2008

Alert for Avian Influenza

On December 9, the Hong Kong government elevated the alert for Avian Influenza (AI) to "serious", after discovering the H5 virus in live chickens at a chicken farm in Yeun Long, New Territories, Hong Kong. In light of the elevated alert status, we would like all Americans traveling or living in Hong Kong to be aware of the latest information on AI. The Hong Kong Government maintains up-to-date information on AI on their website:

For further information about Avian Influenza, please consult the United States Centers for Disease Control Website at or the U.S. State Department fact sheet at

U.S. Consulate General
Hong Kong

July 25 2007

Hong Kong Enterprises Must Register Before 23 October to Safeguard Processing Trade Business

On 23 July, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and General Administration of Customs promulgated Announcement No.44 on the issuance of the Catalogue of Products under the Restricted Category in Processing Trade. Under Article 5 of the Announcement, for enterprises in the eastern region which have not been granted foreign trade rights before 23 July, their application for engagement in the processing trade of products under the restricted category will not be entertained. However, for enterprises in the eastern region which have undertaken processing activities before without foreign trade rights, if they register with the local commerce department before 23 July 2007 and convert into enterprises with foreign trade rights within the specified time frame, they will not be subject to Article 5. Also, enterprises which have changed their names due to corporate restructuring but whose equity and legal representatives have not changed will not be subject to the article. Hong Kong companies engaging in processing with supplied materials and intending to convert into foreign-invested enterprises and continue to engage in the export of products under the restricted category in processing trade should register with the local commerce department before 23 October to declare their status as old enterprises in order to retain their qualification for engaging in the processing trade of products under the restricted category.

According to MOFCOM, in the calculation of the payable customs duty deposit for products under the restricted category, the so called ¡§integrated tax rate¡¨ is calculated on the basis of combining the import tariff and import-related value-added tax rates. The current rate is 22%, and Customs can adjust the rate in the future in accordance with the actual situation.

For interpretation of the catalogue by MOFCOM in Chinese, please visit:

For details of the above catalogue and its implementation in Chinese, please visit:

November 13, 2005

Below is a warden message issued on November 13, 2005 by the American Consulate General in Hong Kong for your information:

The United States Government has received credible information that a terrorist threat may exist against official U.S. Government facilities in Guangzhou. This threat also may exist for places where Americans are known to congregate or visit, including clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools or outdoor recreation events.

American citizens in south China are advised to be aware of their surroundings and remain alert to possible threats. Americans living or traveling in China are encouraged to register with the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou through the State Department's travel registration website at By registering,
American citizens make it easier for the Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

U.S. citizens planning to travel to China should consult the Department of State's country-specific Public Announcements, Travel Warnings,Consular Information Sheets, the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement and other information, available at  Up-to-date information on security conditions can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 in the U.S. and for callers outside the U.S. and Canada a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.


October 7, 2005

Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative

Earlier this year, I wrote about a plan by the US Department of State called the "Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative," which is designed to enhance border security. It will require people traveling between the United States and the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico and Canada to have a passport to enter or re-enter the United States. Citizens of the United States, Canada, Mexico and Bermuda will be affected.

Under the original plan, the new passport requirements would have been phased in beginning on December 31, 2005. But after the timeline was announced, several groups lobbied to have the timeline or the requirements changed. Upon further review, the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security have acknowledged that implementing the plan as originally proposed would be problematic for travelers during the upcoming winter tourism season. Therefore, the timeline for implementation has been revised as shown below:

Beginning December 31, 2006, a passport will be required for all air and sea travel to or from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.

Beginning December 31, 2007, the passport requirement will be extended to include all land border crossings to or from the above-mentioned destinations.

Currently, passports are recommended but not required for travel to and from Canada, Mexico, Panama, the Caribbean and Bermuda. Always check with your Vacations To Go cruise counselor at the time of booking to verify documentation that will be required.

It's possible that international frequent travelers holding Sentri, Nexus or Fast Cards, or Border Crossing Cards, may not need passports for land border crossings, but no final decision has been made.

You can learn more about the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative on the US Department of State's Web site. For answers to frequently asked questions, click here. For information about obtaining or renewing a passport as a US citizen, click here. For information about obtaining or renewing a passport as a Canadian citizen, click here to visit Passport Canada.

August 17, 2005

American Citizens Services

Appointment System for All American Citizens Services Effective August 8, 2005

Effective August 8, 2005, appointments will be required for all services provided by the American Citizens Services Unit at the U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong (including passport applications, adding additional passport pages, birth registration, notarials, and general inquiries). Services related to federal benefits and genuine emergencies do not require appointments. This new system will reduce waiting time for our customers. To avoid common impediments to quicker processing (including incorrect photographs, letters of consent from parents that are not notarized and insufficient documents), please first check the requirements of the relevant service at

Then, please make an appointment at Appointments are available from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., and from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, except for Wednesday afternoons and U.S. and local holidays.


由二零零五年八月八日開始,所有美國公民服務部的服務都需要網上預約(包括申請護照、護照加頁、為其新生子女申請成為美籍、公證文件及一般查詢),長俸部事宜及緊急事宜除外。新措施可減少申請人的輪候時間。為免不必要的延誤(如不合規格的照片、沒有公證的父或母的護照申請同意書及不齊備的文件),請先瀏覽美國領事館的網址: 及預備所需文件。


January 13, 2004

Please briefly review the following announcements concerning travel and visas. These messages are not related to each other and have been compiled and forwarded for your reference and convenience:

1. New Entry Procedures for Foreign Visitors with Non-Immigrant Visas
2. Visa Referral Program Chinese New Year Vacation Notice
3. Public Announcement: Worldwide Caution

1. New Entry Procedures for Foreign Visitors with Non-Immigrant Visas
WASHINGTON, DC, JANUARY 5, 2004 - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security today launched US-VISIT, a new program to enhance the nation's security while facilitating legitimate travel and trade through our borders. New entry procedures took effect today for most foreign visitors with non-immigrant visas at 115 airports and cruise ship terminals at 14 seaports. The system utilizes biometrics, which are physical characteristics unique to each individual, to verify identity. Biometric technologies are the basis of an extensive array of highly secure identification and personal verification solutions.

US-VISIT requires that most foreign visitors traveling to the U.S. on a visa have their two index fingers scanned and a digital photograph taken to verify their identity at the port of entry. The US-VISIT program will enhance the security of U.S. citizens and visitors by verifying the identity of visitors with visas. At the same time, it facilitates legitimate travel and trade by leveraging technology and the evolving use of biometrics to expedite processing at our borders.

For more information on this system and how it works please click here: 

2. AmCham Visa Referral Program Information Notice
(only affects those currently in the AmCham Visa Referral Program)
Greetings from the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai. Due to Chinese New Year, the Consulate will not be accepting visa applications (or couriers) next Tuesday, January 20. Please note that the normal Tuesday drop-off will resume the following week.

If you have questions, you can direct them to Bob DeWitt. Our phone number is 3217-4650 and our fax number is 6217-2072. Thank you very much for your time and attention, and we are sorry for any inconvenience.

3. Public Announcement: Worldwide Caution
This supersedes the Worldwide Caution dated December 21, 2003. It is being issued to remind U.S. citizens of the continuing threat that they may be targets of terrorist attacks even though the homeland security threat level has returned to Yellow (Elevated) from Orange (High). This Worldwide Caution expires on July 9, 2004.

The U.S. Government remains deeply concerned about the security of U.S. citizens overseas. U.S. citizens are cautioned to maintain a high level of vigilance, to remain alert and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. We are seeing increasing indications that Al-Qaida is preparing to strike U.S. interests abroad. Al-Qaida and its associated organizations have struck in the Middle East in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and in Europe in Istanbul, Turkey. We therefore assess that other geographic locations could be venues for the next round of attacks.

We expect Al-Qaida will strive for new attacks designed to be more devastating than the September 11 attack, possibly involving nonconventional weapons such as chemical or biological agents. We also cannot rule out that Al-Qaida will attempt a second catastrophic attack within the U.S. Terrorist actions may include, but are not limited to, suicide operations, hijackings, bombings or kidnappings. These may also involve commercial aircraft and maritime interests, and threats to include conventional weapons, such as explosive devices.

Terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets. These may include facilities where U.S. citizens and other foreigners congregate or visit, including residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, hotels, outdoor recreation events or resorts and beaches. U.S. citizens should remain in a heightened state of personal security awareness when attendance at such locations is unavoidable.

U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert. These facilities may temporarily close or suspend public services from time to time to assess their security posture. In those instances, U.S. embassies and consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. Americans abroad are urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

As the Department continues to develop information on any potential security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible threat information through its consular information program documents, available on the internet at  In addition to information on the internet, travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-317-472-2328

December 11, 2003

FDA Bioterrorism Rules About to Take Effect on December 12, 2003 - Go to our "Trade Issues" Page for Detail

May 12, 2003

Eliminating the USD80,000 exclusion on foreign earned income and housing expenses!

As many of you have heard by now, the US Senate Finance Committee recently approved a tax bill which includes a provision eliminating the USD80,000 exclusion on foreign earned income and housing expenses.  If this bill becomes law, it may result in a significant increase in your personal tax liability for some of us currently working or planning to work overseas. 
It is urgent that you make your objection to this action heard now, as the full Senate will begin discussing the bill this week. We therefore encourage you to write to your Senators and your Congressperson immediately on this important issue.  We include House members because, should the full Senate approve the bill as written, it will be considered by a joint House/Senate committee.
Please contact your Senators and Congressperson to voice your objection.
FAX numbers should be available from the Member's website.  Please do not "MAIL"--since the anthrax scare,  mail can take weeks to be delivered. EMAIL  is possible for most offices only if you provide a local (U.S.) address  and zip code.

May 8, 2003

We have been asked by the Hawaii Department of Health to notify our affiliated Chambers about this important information about "suspicious power". 

A local chamber of commerce in Kentucky received a letter from Brazil containing a suspicious powder. A quick web search turned up the fact that these letters are being received at chambers in many states this week.  

It appears that several chambers of commerce in cities across the country are receiving letters from Brazil containing threatening language and suspicious powders. None of the powders have tested positive for any dangerous substance. Some of the hoax letters reference a virus called ZAMPRINA; the Kentucky Commissioner of Public Health has confirmed with the  CDC's virologists that this is not a known virus. 

If you receive suspicious mail postmarked from Brazil, and do not know the sender, do not open it. Contact your emergency building contact or local law enforcement authorities. To review suspicious mail protocols, visit the Kentucky Emergency Management protocol that was developed during the Anthrax attacks and hoaxes of 2001 here: 

Here are two short news clips from other areas of the country, to give you a fuller picture of the types of letters that have been received. 

From Chicago news, May 6, 2003:

Suspicious powder in Kenosha - The Kenosha municipal building will be closed today as authorities continue to investigate the nature of a green powder substance contained in a letter that arrived at the building Monday, according to broadcast reports. The substance of the mysterious letter is not anthrax, a test conducted by the Milwaukee Health Department determined, WLS-Channel

7 reported. But tests will continue to determine if the powder could be of a dangerous chemical or radiological in nature, Channel 7 said. Six people from the fire station inside the municipal building were transported to a local hospital for observation. Another letter of a similar nature arrived at the Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce, and four people were decontaminated and hospitalized for observation. 

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 6, 2003:

CLEVELAND - Contents not hazardous

The FBI said yesterday that brown particles inside a letter mailed to the Greater Cleveland Growth Association were not hazardous. The letter, which threatened Americans with a virus, was postmarked in Brazil, FBI spokesman Robert Hawk said. The Ohio Department of Health tested the substance, which had the consistency of breadcrumbs, but found nothing harmful. Chambers of commerce or city halls in three other cities - Redwing, Minn.; Albany, Ore.; and Uniontown - received similar letters, and authorities are investigating. Hawk said the note indicated disgust with the United States' attacks on Iraq. 

Gwenda Bond, Office of Communications, Cabinet for Health Services, (502)564-6786

April 9, 2003

Go to Our Resource Center Page for Complete News Updates on SARS

March 20, 2003

This Public Announcement is being updated to alert Americans to an increased potential for anti-American violence, including terrorist actions against U.S. citizens, as a result of the military action in Iraq.  The U.S. Government remains deeply concerned about the security of Americans overseas.  American citizens are  reminded that it is more important than ever to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.  This Worldwide Caution supersedes that issued on February 6, 2003 and  expires on July 20, 2003.
As a result of military action in Iraq, there is a potential for retaliatory actions to be taken against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world.  Public demonstrations carry the potential for precipitating violence directed at American citizens, symbols associated with the United States or other U.S. and  western interests.
The threat to U.S. citizens includes the risk of attacks by terrorist groups.  Terrorist actions may include, but are not limited to, suicide operations, bombings or kidnappings.  Possible threats include conventional weapons such as explosive devices or non-conventional weapons, including chemical or biological agents. Terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets.  These may include facilities where Americans and other foreigners congregate or visit, such as residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, hotels, outdoor recreation events or resorts and beaches.  U.S. citizens should increase their security awareness at such locations, avoid them, or switch to other locations where Americans in large numbers generally do not congregate.
U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert and some have drawn down their dependents and/or personnel.  These facilities may temporarily close or suspend public services from time to time for security reasons.  In those instances, U.S. embassies and  consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to American citizens.  Monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest American embassy or consulate.
As the Department continues to develop information on any potential security threats to Americans overseas, it 
shares credible threat information through its Consular Information Program documents, available on the Internet at  In addition toinformation on the Internet, U.S. travelers can get up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 in the U.S. and outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 317-472-2328.
Wardens Message from the U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong
March 20, 2003
Armed conflict with Iraq began on March 20, 2003.
The Department of State advises American citizens to take prudent steps to ensure their personal safety in the 
coming days.  Remain vigilantly aware of surroundings, avoid crowds and demonstrations, keep a low profile, 
vary times and routes for all travel, and ensure travel documents are current.  Listen to news reports and check the U.S. Consulate General website,, for updated information.
U.S. citizens and interests worldwide are at risk of terrorist attacks, including by groups with links to Al-Qaida.  U.S. Government facilities are on a heightened state of alert.  The Consulate General in Hong Kong may temporarily close or suspend public services from time to time for security reasons.  In that event, we will make every effort to continue to provide emergency services to American citizens and will provide contact information by a warden message and on our website.  Monitor the local news as well as the Department of State website,, for information concerning safety and security of American citizens overseas.  The Department of Homeland Security websites, and, may also provide useful information.
American citizens with questions or concerns may telephone the Consulate General at (852) 2523-9011.  In case of an emergency outside business hours or during any suspension of public services, American citizens may reach the Consulate General duty officer by calling (852) 2523-9011.  American citizens may also contact the Department of State, if calling from outside the United States at 317-472-2328, or, from within the U.S., toll free at 1-888-407-4747.
American citizens in Hong Kong and Macau who have not yet registered with the Consulate General are urged to do so as soon as possible.  You may register in person by coming to the American Citizen Services Unit, Consular Section, at the Consulate General, 26 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong, during the Consulate's regular work hours or register on-line through the consulate General website at  American citizens already registered with the Consulate General are urged to update their registration information.
U.S. citizens should consult the Department of State's consular information documents, including the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement located on the Department's Internet website at



March 17, 2003

This is one of an occasional series of messages from the U.S. Consulate's American Citizen Services unit to American Citizens registered with the U.S.Consulate in Shanghai. The attached notice regarding personal security precautions has been provided to U.S. Consulate staff and is being forwarded for your information and consideration. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General throughout China are also taking similar precautions. The Consulate will continue to advise U.S. citizens in China of important issues related to security as necessitated by international and local developments.

Text of Message to Employees

As the United States draws nearer to a possible conflict in Iraq, members of the Emergency Action Committee recently met to discuss ways to improve our security posture. This memorandum is designed to inform you of the steps that would be taken in the event of hostilities. It also contains advice each member of the Mission should follow to help keep us all safe.
Activate Warden Systems.
In the event of hostilities, the Embassy will notify all Americans through the country-wide warden email communications system.

Vary Daily Routines/flexible Work Schedule.
To reduce our vulnerability and to avoid setting easily recognizable patterns, the Embassy will implement a flexible work schedule. The times and routes of the Embassy shuttle service will vary from day to day. All Americans should review their personal schedules for discernable patterns.

Limit School Attendance.
In the event of hostilities, several of the larger international schools plan to close on the first school day immediately following commencement of military action in Iraq. Should hostilities begin, the Mission recommends that our children remain home on the first school day following the start of military action. While schools are not traditionally under threat, the Embassy has requested that host government security work in tandem with the international schools to ensure adequate security is in place for their facilities and bus transportation.

Large representational or social functions.
As noted in previous Department of State issued Worldwide Cautions, families should review their social and business schedules and avoid public areas where foreigners or Americans are generally known to congregate.

Smooth implementation of any plan requires that everyone be briefed in advance regarding the precautions to be taken. Each employee should discuss these precautions with his/her family members. Section heads and agency heads need to ensure that contact information is kept current. Employees in travel status may need to be located and accounted for; make sure you have accurate contact information. All employees (American and Chinese) who have been issued cellular telephones should carry them at all times when outside of their residences or homes. Employees should consider leaving their cellular telephones on at night. We also recommend that employees keep a copy of the internal Cascade warden tree next to their home telephone and ensure that they are familiar with the warden tree's notification procedures. Please note that it is Embassy policy that supervisors are responsible for ensuring that a system is in place to notify all their employees (American and non-American) about decisions that impact on their safety and security.

American Citizen Services
U. S. Consulate General
Shanghai, China 200031
ADD: 1469 Huai Hai Zhong Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 86-21-64336880
Fax: 86-21-64711148

(Source & Credit: American Chamber of Commerce-Shanghai)

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