By  on August 12, 2008

BEIJING — In the capital’s embassy district, a stream of Olympic visitors has arrived, foreign journalists and dignitaries donning official lanyards and combing the shops and bars that long have been a hub for expatriates in Beijing.

Yet even with the steadily increasing number of new faces, the Sanlitun district remains strangely empty. Bars and cafes have been ordered to shorten their hours and make less noise, while much of the area’s popular sidewalk seating has been moved inside and some places shut down entirely. Many who frequented the area or even owned cafes and clubs are now gone, shuffled out of China for at least the summer by new visa restrictions to curb the number of foreigners here ahead of the Games.

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