This question is specifically about true multiple-entry visas, which for China are valid for six months and allow multiple entries.
This question is not about double-entry visas. In the case of China, these are distinct and I know where and how to get a double-entry visas, but not where and how to get a multiple-entry visa.
In Ho Chi Minh city a month or so ago I found out at the Chinese embassy that they only grant one-month single entry visas, at least to me, an Australian passport holder, though the form and the signs on the wall had fees and conditions for multiple-entry visas. The staff did not give me a clear answer other than that they don't issue multiple-entry visas.
I'm assuming they must issue them to Vietnamese citizens.
Today in Vientiane I found out at the Chinese embassy that they only grant single-entry and double entry visas, at least to me, an Australian passport holder, though the form had a box for a multiple entry visa, which I originally chose. Again the staff didn't give me a clear answer other than that I couldn't get a multiple-entry visa here in Laos.
They were not interested in the printouts scanned from my old passport with previous visa and entry and exit stamps that I'd been told would be needed for a multiple entry visa.
So, do we know for sure whether China only issues multiple-entry visas to citizens of the country where the embassy is, or people with residence status there. Has anybody here been granted such a visa when applying outside their home country? Is there a way we can find out whether it's only citizens from certain countries of embassies in certain countries, or is it just one of those official Chinese mysteries where nobody can really know the answers in advance?