Local employees don't get to make decisions on things like granting a visa or rejecting the applications. At least, not at Chengdu. They get to be the ushers, wearing uniforms with American flag on it, and yelling at their fellow citizens with a vulgar Chengdu dialect. (I consider their dialect vulgar, just as they consider ours vulgar.)
The PLA soldiers standing next to them are not much better either. Projecting a cavalier attitude toward everyone who looks yellow. Defying their own kind, while bowing to those who do not need to wait in line (the Yankees. Duh...). (also, don't take it literally, they don't actually bow to anyone.)
I am aware that these could be some scurrilous accusations to many good people there, but it is a faithful rendition of what I have observed while waiting in the shorter line to renew my F-1 visa last summer.