The Chinese government has accused several countries of imposing travel restrictions on Chinese arrivals for political purposes and has warned of possible retaliation. The US, India, and the UK are among the nations that have introduced mandatory testing for travelers from China following a surge in COVID cases and concerns about underreporting, as per a report from BBC news.
China’s borders have been largely closed since March 2020, requiring few foreigners to undergo rigorous testing and quarantine upon entry. However, China has announced it will ease these restrictions starting on January 8, leading more than a dozen countries to implement testing for Chinese arrivals.
On two recent flights, half the passengers from China to Italy tested positive for COVID.
There’s no reason we should allow China to—once again—knowingly infect people across the globe. — Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) January 2, 2023
Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party still have not been held accountable for COVID.
The Biden Administration dropped the ball. House Republicans need to act. (1/6) — Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) January 2, 2023
The World Health Organization (WHO) has called on China to provide more real-time information and a spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry said Beijing is willing to “improve communication with the world”, as per the report. However, the spokeswoman, Mao Ning, also stated that the government is “firmly opposed to attempts to manipulate the epidemic prevention and control measures for political purposes, and will take corresponding measures…according to the principle of reciprocity”.
Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “On two recent flights, half the passengers from China to Italy tested positive for COVID. There’s no reason we should allow China to—once again—knowingly infect people across the globe”. He added that the CCP should be held accountable and suggested that if the Biden administration doesn’t question the CCP, House Republicans should.
‘Doing our duty’, says French PM
Some countries in the EU have imposed testing for Chinese travelers. France’s Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne stated that “we’re performing our duty in protecting French people by asking for tests” and that it is being done “while respecting the rules of the World Health Organization”. A decision on whether these measures will be extended to all EU countries is expected on Wednesday.
The US has defended its COVID-19 testing requirements, stating that its approach is based “solely and exclusively on science”. Beijing has previously been at odds with the international community over the virus, including resisting attempts to investigate the origins of the virus, which was first detected in Wuhan in late 2019. On Tuesday, China rejected an offer from the European Union to provide an unspecified number of COVID-19 vaccines to address the surge in cases, stating that it has an “adequate supply.” Official data shows that China has administered more than 3.4 billion doses of vaccines, primarily the Chinese-made CoronaVac, which has been proven to be less effective against the Omicron variant compared to vaccines developed in other countries.