China has stopped issuing visas to Japan and South Korea

China has stopped issuing visas to Japan and South Korea
Written by admin

  • The Chinese embassy called South Korean border rules “discriminatory”.
  • Some cities say the peak of COVID infections was last month
  • Chinese state media criticizes Pfizer over Paxlovid price

BEIJING, Jan 10 (Reuters) – China suspended short-term visas to South Korea and Japan on Tuesday after announcing it would respond to countries requiring negative COVID-19 tests from Chinese travelers.

China imposed mandatory quarantines on arrivals and allowed travel across its border with Hong Kong to resume from Sunday, lifting the last major restrictions under a “zero-Covid” regime that began to be lifted abruptly in early December after historic protests against the curbs.

But the virus is spreading unchecked among its 1.4 billion people, and concerns about the scale and impact of its spread have led Japan, South Korea, the United States and other countries to require negative COVID tests from travelers from China.

Although China has imposed similar testing requirements for all arrivals, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters on Tuesday that the entry restrictions on Chinese travelers were “discriminatory” and that China would take “reciprocal measures”.

In the first response step, the Chinese Embassy in South Korea the issuance of short-term visas has been suspended For South Korean visitors. The embassy said on its official WeChat account that it would amend the policy on the condition that South Korea lifts “discriminatory access restrictions” against China.

China’s embassy in Japan later announced a similar move, saying the mission and its consulates had stopped issuing visas as of Tuesday. The embassy’s statement did not provide information on when they will resume their activities.

The move comes shortly after Japan tightened its COVID-19 rules for travelers arriving directly from China, mandating a negative PCR test less than 72 hours before departure, as well as a negative test on arrival in Japan. read more

As the virus spread, China stopped publishing daily infection reports. Five or fewer deaths per day have been reported since the U-turn policy, which was disputed by the World Health Organization and is at odds with funeral providers reporting increased demand.

As international experts predict at least 1 million people will die in China this year, some governments have raised concerns about Beijing’s data transparency. Washington has also raised concerns about potential future mutations of the virus.

China rejects criticism of its data as politically motivated attempts to tarnish its “success” in fighting the pandemic, saying future mutations will be more contagious but less harmful.

“Since the incident, China has shown an open and transparent attitude,” Foreign Ministry representative Wang said.

But as infections spread across China’s vast rural hinterland, many, including elderly, victims it’s not bothering to just pass the test.


State media played down the severity of the epidemic.

An article in Health Times, run by the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the ruling Communist Party, cited several officials as saying that the number of infections in the capital Beijing and several Chinese provinces is declining.

Officials in the southern tech hub of Shenzhen announced Tuesday that the city has also passed its peak.

About 90% of people in the central province, which has a population of 100 million, were infected by January, said Kan Guan, director of Henan Province’s Office of Epidemic Prevention and Control. 6.

It reached its peak in eastern Jiangsu province in December. 22, while in neighboring Zhejiang province, “the first wave of infections passed smoothly,” officials said.

Financial markets dismissed the latest borderline as a mere concern, with the yuan hitting a nearly five-month high.

While daily flights in and out of China are still at one-tenth of pre-Covid levels, businesses across Asia, from South Korean and Japanese shopkeepers to Thai tour bus operators and K-pop groups noted the perspective of more Chinese tourists.

In a further sign of the opening, Beijing’s Daxing International Airport, along with Beijing Capital International Airport, will resume international flights for the first time in nearly three years from January 17.

Chinese shoppers spent $250 billion a year abroad before COVID.


Border regulations were not the only COVID conflict in China.

State media criticized Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) his COVID treatment is overpriced for Paxlovid.

“It is no secret that US capital forces have already collected enough wealth from the world by selling vaccines and medicines, and the US government has always coordinated,” the nationalist tabloid Global Times said in an editorial.

Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said Monday that the company In discussions with Chinese authorities About price for paxlovid but licensing a common version in China.

China’s drastic change of course in its COVID policy has left many hospitals under-equipped, while small towns have struggled to secure essential anti-fever drugs.

Yu Weishi, chairman of Youcare Pharmaceutical Group, told Reuters that his firm has increased production of its antipyretic drugs to 1 million boxes per day by 5 million in the past month.

Report by Beijing and Shanghai bureaus; Additional reporting by Rocky Swift and Maki Shiraki in Tokyo; Written by Marius Zaharia and Greg Torode; Edited by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Peter Graff

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

About the author


Leave a Comment