Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus Statement

State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus

October 24, 2019

The International Astronautical Congress (IAC) offers an unprecedented and unmatched opportunity for the international community to come together to advance cooperation in space science, applications, exploration and in the global space industry.  The 2019 IAC is particularly important in that it is a celebration of the unprecedented landing on the Moon 50 years ago. The United States recognizes the importance of space cooperation and has encouraged very broad participation and attendance at this year’s IAC.  

The United States rejects the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s unfounded and baseless characterization of U.S. visa policies toward China. We cannot discuss individual visa cases since visa records are confidential under U.S. law, but we can confirm that the Chinese delegation is in attendance at the conference. 

More broadly, we note that the U.S. Mission to China issued more than 1.3 million visas in the last fiscal year alone. Our posts in China are some of the largest visa issuing posts in the world.