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Covid, China blocks visas for South Koreans in response – Asia

China stopped issuing short-term visas to South Korean citizens in retaliation for tightening health checks on Dragon passengers, which Beijing deemed “discriminatory”.
This was stated in a note from the Chinese embassy in Seoul, which states that the measures identified “will be modified on the basis of eliminating discriminatory entry restrictions on South Korea against China.”

In response to the tightening of health checks on travelers coming from China, in the face of the worst wave of Covid-19 infections during the three years of the epidemic, the Beijing Embassy in Seoul decided to prevent the issuance of short-term entry visas to China. South Korean citizens. “Chinese Embassy and Consulates will suspend issuance of short-term visas to South Korean nationals,” said a note posted on the diplomatic mission’s WeChat account, based on “instructions” from Beijing. This measure will affect “South Korean nationals visiting China for business, tourism, medical treatment, transit, and private business; in general.”

Just yesterday, at the daily briefing, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin reiterated his pledge to adopt “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 about 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 restriction of short-term visas for Chinese nationals, joining the group of countries that have imposed travel restrictions due to the Dragon’s wave of infections and accusations of a lack of transparency on the real health situation. Travelers from China must present a negative PCR swab within 48 hours of departure (the same one Beijing still requires upon arrival) or a rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours, followed by post-arrival PCR.

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