China defends visa curbs against stranded Indians

Beijing: China defended its visa curbs which have prevented thousands of stranded Indians from returning to Beijing, saying they are “appropriate” to control the spread of COVID-19 and do not target India alone, but are applied to even Chinese citizens coming back from overseas.

Responding to questions on Indian ambassador to Beijing Vikram Misri’s criticism of China’s prolonged stringent travel restrictions, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying also ruled out the easing of curbs in near future.

“China’s measures are appropriate and also I would like to say that China applies quarantine measures to all inbound travelers. China is willing to have good arrangements on the bilateral travel of personnel,” Hua said.

According to reports, a large number of Chinese nationals stranded in India were not able to return due to stringent travel restrictions and suspension of flights. “China has to make a lot of quarantine measures but they are not targeting India alone. It is applied equally to everyone, including Chinese citizens coming back to China,” Hua said.

Besides over 23,000 Indian students studying in Chinese colleges, mostly medicine, hundreds of businessmen, employees, and their families have been stuck in India since last year. The curbs also resulted in several people either losing jobs, businesses, or separation of families.

Meanwhile, several students demonstrated in front of the Chinese embassy in New Delhi protesting against the visa curbs which effectively prevented them from returning to re-join their studies in the country.

Image courtesy of (courtesy: Wikipedia)

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