China has stopped issuing short-term visas to South Korean citizens in retaliation for tightening health checks on passengers from the Dragon, deemed "discriminatory" by Beijing.
This was stated in a note from the Chinese embassy in Seoul, according to which the measures decided "will be adjusted on the basis of the cancellation of discriminatory restrictions on entry into South Korea against China".
In retaliation for the tightening of health checks on passengers arriving from China, grappling with the worst wave of Covid-19 infections in three years of the pandemic, the Beijing embassy in Seoul has decided to block the issuance of visas for short-term entry to South Korean citizens.
"The Chinese embassy and consulates will suspend the issuance of short-term visas to South Korean citizens", reads a note posted on the diplomatic mission's WeChat account, based on "instructions" received from Beijing.
The measure will affect "South Korean citizens who visit China for business, tourism, medical treatment, transit and private business ;;in general".
Just yesterday, in the daily briefing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin reiterated his promise on the adoption of "mutual countermeasures against some countries that have imposed discriminatory entry restrictions on travelers from China", urging the United States " to be transparent and open in sharing information and data on the Omicron XBB variant currently prevalent in the US."
In late December, South Korea announced anti-Covid tests for all travelers from China, along with the temporary limitation of short-term visas to Chinese nationals, joining the group of countries that had introduced travel restrictions due of the
wave of infections in the Dragon and the accusations of lack of transparency on the real health situation.
Travelers from China must provide a negative PCR swab within 48 hours of departure (the same one Beijing continues to require at arrivals) or a rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours, followed by a PCR after arrival.