Terrorism-related visa restrictions threatening the business of about 300 Israeli companies with offices in China were lifted a day after last month's Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) meeting in Shanghai, a Western diplomat said yesterday. The 60 to 70 distress calls received by the Israeli Embassy in Beijing since mid-September also stopped after the meeting, the diplomat said. Before the summit, during which China strengthened security around Shanghai, the embassy had protested to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the diplomat said. China earlier denied that Arab and Israeli citizens were being denied visas into the mainland. On October 18, Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said Beijing had made some 'technical adjustments' to visa applications, but denied they were targeted at any one country. Mr Sun admitted that after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US and in the run-up to the Apec forum, some Chinese airlines had refused to sell tickets to Arab passengers, but said it was a misunderstanding of an order from the Government and aviation authorities. Israel has an extensive network of businesses in China. Israeli business people said at the time it was unfair to be lumped in with terrorists and forced to cancel visits to clients. Israelis in China considered postponing trips home for fear their return would be barred. Israeli building security firm ICD Ltd chief executive Ron Efron said he might have laid people off had the restrictions persisted, because two key people stuck outside China forced the firm to forgo business. 'Damage has been done - just time and money. Now we're trying to get back to normal again,' Mr Efron said. 'We thought it would clear up after Apec.'