China urges relevant countries to cancel travel restrictions for Chinese citizens

China urges South Korea and France to cancel travel restrictions towards Chinese citizens as soon as possible, Mao Ning, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said at Monday's news briefing.

Early this month, after China eased its COVID-19 control measures, South Korea suspended short-term visa applications from its consulates in China until the end of the month. 

China then responded by stopping issuing certain visas to South Korean citizens and said the measures will be adjusted until South Korea cancels its entry restrictions on Chinese citizens.

The neighboring country recently announced it would further extend the visa suspension for Chinese citizens.

Mao expressed regret at South Korea's announcement of visa suspension extension at Monday's news briefing, saying it's not conducive to personnel exchanges and cooperation between the two countries.

"We hope that South Korea can cancel the unreasonable actions as soon as possible, and on this basis, China is willing to take corresponding measures to facilitate personnel exchanges between the two countries," Mao said.

France on Saturday announced it would extend mandatory COVID-19 tests for travelers from China until February 15. On December 30, France required travelers from China to provide a negative COVID-19 test result less than 48 hours before departure, and imposed tests on all flights from China, which had been set to last until January 31.

Responding to this, Mao expressed opposition, saying China opposes any discriminatory entry restrictions on travelers from China in disregard of scientific facts and urging relevant countries to remove such unreasonable measures as soon as possible.

(Cover: Travelers are seen at Daxing International Airport, Beijing, China, January 11, 2023. /CFP)

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