China Covid: Beijing criticizes ‘political’ tourist rules

The Chinese government has suggested that travel restrictions imposed on Chinese arrivals by several countries are politically motivated, and has threatened to retaliate.

The United States, India, and the United Kingdom are among the countries that have made Chinese arrivals subject to mandatory testing.

Following the relaxation of its strict controls, the country has recently seen an increase in Covid cases.

There is also concern that cases and deaths are being vastly underreported.
China’s last daily Covid update, on December 24, reported fewer than 5,000 cases; however, some analysts believe the daily caseload is already over two million, and could reach nearly four million this month.

Due to a lack of data and China’s announcement that it would relax travel restrictions beginning on January 8, more than a dozen countries announced Covid testing on Chinese arrivals.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged China to share more real-time information and a spokeswoman for the foreign ministry on Tuesday said that Beijing was willing to “improve communication with the world“.

The government, according to spokeswoman Mao Ning, is “firmly opposed to attempts to manipulate epidemic prevention and control measures for political purposes, and will take corresponding measures…in accordance with the principle of reciprocity.”

Since March 2020, China’s borders have been largely closed, allowing few foreigners to enter and requiring those who did to undergo rigorous testing and quarantine.

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