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China bars entry by almost all foreigners to contain virus pandemic

China bars entry by almost all foreigners to contain virus pandemic

Posted March. 28, 2020 07:56,   

Updated March. 28, 2020 07:56


China has announced an extraordinarily strong measure of effectively blocking the border at the pretext of containing the coronavirus pandemic. Not only South Korean companies that operate production plants and sales units in mainland China but also South Korean nationals living there and students of Chinese universities who are currently staying outside China have been denied entry, which will cause inevitably significant chaos and confusion to them.

The Chinese ministry of foreign affairs and the national immigration bureau have decided to ban foreigners with visas for long-term stay and residential permits from entering China, effective midnight Saturday. China said people could still apply for visas through local Chinese embassies and consulates if they have justification for a visit due to economy and trade, science and technology activities and urgent humanitarian reasons.

However, the South Korean Embassy in China said, "We have asked Beijing for a detailed explanation about the circumstances in which foreigners can apply for a visa as an exception, but the Chinese government has not given any clear answer yet."

The entry ban into China was announced only one hour after the leaders of the G20 countries including Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a joint statement shortly after their video summit. The joint statement read, "We will cooperate to respond (to the pandemic) in a way that will promote international trade, and that will not cause unnecessary obstacles to travel and trade between countries.”

Dong-Il Seo dong@donga.com · Wan-Jun Yun zeitung@donga.com