China condemns the "unacceptable" COVID restricts travel
After more than a dozen countries imposed additional coronavirus bans on tourists from the most populated country in the world, China branded the growing worldwide restrictions on travelers from its territory as "unacceptable".
As fears over an increase in instances mount, several nations, including the United States, Canada, Japan, and France, are requiring all visitors from China to show negative COVID-19 testing before arrival.
After Beijing abruptly dropped its zero-COVID regulations in December, hospitals and crematoriums rapidly became overburdened, which contributed to China's sharp increase in infections.
Beijing has still moved through with a long-awaited reopening, announcing last week the termination of the requirement for travelers to undergo quarantine. This announcement encouraged Chinese citizens to book international travel.
Speaking at a routine briefing on Tuesday, Mao Ning, a spokesperson for the foreign ministry, said that "some countries have adopted entry restrictions targeting just Chinese travelers."
She continued, suggesting China could "take countermeasures based on the principle of reciprocity," saying that "this lacks scientific basis and some acts are inappropriate."
However, France's Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne defended the new regulations when asked about China's response.
Borne said on Franceinfo radio, "I believe we're doing what we should be doing by asking for testing. "We shall keep doing it."
Beijing continues to put restrictions on incoming visitors and refuse to issue visas to tourists or foreign students, thus the limitations already in place apply to all travelers leaving China, not just Chinese nationals.
Beijing's lack of transparency about infection data and the possibility of novel strains has also been highlighted by nations, notably the US, as a justification for limiting travel.
Since December, China has only reported 22 COVID deaths, and the criteria for categorizing such deaths have been drastically reduced. As a result, Beijing's own data regarding the unprecedented surge are now widely believed to be inaccurate.
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