China should not restrict arrivals for reasons beyond COVID-19 response measures: foreign ministry

SEOUL– China should not restrict people’s entry across its border for reasons other than those of pandemic response measures, Seoul’s foreign ministry said Thursday, following Beijing’s suspension of visa services for South Koreans in retaliation against Seoul’s strengthened antivirus curbs against arrivals from China.

Lim Soo-suk, spokesperson for the ministry, said during a regular press briefing that Seoul has made clear to Beijing through diplomatic channels “there should never be restrictions on entry based on factors other than those of coronavirus quarantine measures.”

He stressed the South Korean government’s antivirus measures against China were a “decision based on scientific grounds” to protect its people.

South Korea has recently tightened curbs on travelers from China, halting the issuance of short-term visas for Chinese nationals until the end of this month, and requiring travelers from China to undergo a coronavirus test before and after arriving in the country.

In a retaliatory move, China announced this week its suspension of short-term visa service and transit visa exemption for South Koreans against what it called “discriminatory” entry restrictions.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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