The embassy of China in Seoul announced that it has stopped issuing short-term visas to travellers from South Korea. According to the Japanese Kyodo news agency, Beijing has sanctioned Japan with identical measures.
On Sunday, China’s borders were once again open. This marked the end of the “zero-Covid” regime, which it began swiftly removing in early December in response to long-standing demonstrations over the limitations.
According to China’s foreign ministry, the news comes a day after Qin Gang, the foreign minister of China, spoke by phone with Park Jin, the foreign minister of South Korea, about the limitations.
According to his office, Park of South Korea informed Qin that the new border limitations were “based on science and objective.”
According to a statement from the Chinese embassy in Seoul, “Chinese embassies and consulates in Korea will suspend the issuance of short-term visas for Korean citizens.” The statement also stated that the measures would be “adjusted again in line with South Korea’s removal of the discriminatory entry restrictions on China.”
Since early 2020, the world’s second-largest economy has experienced one of its worst growth rates in almost 50 years, which has resulted in widespread despair. Additional factors contributing to this poor growth include regular lockdowns, relentless testing, and numerous other movement restrictions.
China has stopped reporting daily infection tally reports since the virus became widespread. Since the policy change, it has been claimed that there are five fatalities or fewer every day. However, the World Health Organization disputes these claims, and the numbers don’t line up with funeral homes’ claims of a rise in demand for their services.
Amidst an increase in COVID instances and worries about the lack of transparency in official data, including the introduction of new varieties, South Korea is one of several nations, including Australia, France, and the United States, that have implemented measures aimed against travellers from China.
The regulations imposed by Seoul are among the strictest; they include flight restrictions, testing requirements, and visa restrictions. Mainland Chinese, Hong Kong, and Macau travellers must test negative before departure, and they must pass another test upon arrival.