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Beijing responds to Seoul and Tokyo's anti-Covid measures by suspending visas


China has suspended the issuance of short-stay visas for South Koreans and Japanese, embassies announced on Tuesday (January 10th).

China has suspended the issuance of short-stay visas for South Koreans and Japanese, Chinese embassies announced on Tuesday (January 10th), in response to health restrictions imposed by South Korea and Japan on Chinese travelers.


Embassies and consulates in Korea will suspend the issuance of short-stay visas for Korean citizens

," the Chinese Embassy in Seoul said, adding that these measures "

will be adjusted depending on Seoul's removal of travel restrictions. entry that discriminates against China


As of Tuesday, China will "

suspend the issuance

" of visas to Japanese people, the Chinese embassy in Tokyo also announced, in apparent response to the health restrictions imposed by Japan on Chinese travelers.

Faced with the outbreak of Covid cases in China, Japan, like other countries in the world, has introduced the requirement of a negative test for travelers from China, before the trip and at the end of the trip. arrival on Japanese soil.

Beijing does not currently issue tourist visas and requires a negative Covid test for all arrivals regardless of their origin.

Read alsoInfluenza, bronchiolitis and Covid-19: is the peak of the triple epidemic behind us?

In December, Seoul had imposed a series of health restrictions for travelers from mainland China, including on visas and flights, and the obligation to present drug tests, citing an upsurge in Covid-19 cases. in China.

In the event of a positive test, Chinese visitors must complete a one-week quarantine.

A Chinese man who tested positive upon arrival in Seoul refused to submit to quarantine and fled, sparking a two-day manhunt.

Finally found, he must soon be questioned, according to local media.

South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin told his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang on Monday that the restrictions were imposed in his country on a "

scientific basis


In a separate statement, the ministry said Seoul had "

previously communicated with China

" about the measures, and the information was "

transparently shared with the international community


“Proportionate” measures

In 2019 and 2020, tourists from China accounted for the largest proportion of foreign tourists visiting South Korea, at 34.4 percent and 27.2 percent respectively, according to official data from Seoul.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing deemed it "


" that "a

few countries still insist on discriminatory entry restrictions against China


Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said China is "

strongly opposed

" to such restrictions, without commenting specifically on the decision to suspend issuance of visas to South Koreans.

Read alsoIn which countries will travel or Covid insurance remain compulsory in 2023?

We once again call on the countries concerned to take scientific and appropriate measures based on facts.

These measures must not be used for political maneuvers and there must be no discriminatory practices

,” he insisted.

Around the world, beyond Asia, the United States and the European Union have imposed a Covid test for travelers from China.

A number of countries have also advised against unnecessary travel to China.

The European Union last week urged its member states to impose pre-flight screening in China and encouraged the 27 EU members to supplement the negative test with "

random testing

" on arrival at European soil.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the outbreak of Covid-19 cases in China should not have a “


” impact in Europe because the variants circulating there are already present on the Old Continent.

Read alsoCovid-19: the current peak in China should not have a “significant” impact in Europe, according to the WHO

During a press conference, the WHO Regional Director for Europe (53 States concerned), Hans Kluge, called on the countries in his area to take only “

proportionate and non-discriminatory

” measures vis-à-vis -vis travelers from China.

Chinese hospitals have been overwhelmed by an explosion of cases after Beijing eased its drastic health measures, following protests in several cities across the country.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-01-10

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