“For two years following the German annexation, Chinese Consul in Vienna Feng Shan Ho (何鳳山) issued visas to any Jew who requested one. He knew that Chinese visas to Shanghai were actually used as means for people to get to the US, England and other destinations. Under Japanese occupation, Shanghai did not require a visa for entry, but a visa - as proof of destination - was necessary for Jews to leave Austria.
China’s position was not consistent in the issuing of visas to Jews. Consul General Ho’s immediate supervisor, Chen Jia, The Chinese ambassador in Berlin, was adamantly opposed to giving visas to Jews. He wanted good diplomatic relations with Germany and did not want to undermine Hitler’s anti-Semitic policy. Having learned that the Chinese Consul in Vienna was issuing a large numbers of visas to Jews, Chen Jia called Ho by telephone and ordered him to discontinue this practice. But Ho countered by saying that the Chinese foreign ministry’s orders were to maintain a liberal policy in this regard. This so angered the Ambassador that he sent his subordinate to Vienna on the pretext of investigating rumors that the Consul was selling visas.
The investigator arrived unannounced from Berlin and finding no evidence of wrongdoing, returned to Berlin. He was never heard from again. In December 1938, 7000 Jews crossed the border into Switzerland and Italy. Many of them were carrying Chinese visas.”