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Beijing upset over Covid testing

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SINGAPORE, 6 January 2023: China says the introduction of Covid-19 testing and restrictions on travellers departing China and its territories is “unacceptable;” a knee-jerk reaction, a view shared by travel associations, including the powerful International Airlines Transport Association (IATA).

China was responding to a raft of new restrictions by nations worldwide that took effect on 3 January.

China’s steep rise in infections comes after Beijing decided to lift three years of restrictions last month and end its zero-tolerance policy.

“Some countries have taken entry restrictions targeting China,” foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a weekly briefing reported by news wire services.

“This lacks scientific basis, and some practices are unacceptable,” she added, warning that China could “take countermeasures based on the principle of reciprocity”.

The rules imposed affect all travellers coming from China – not just Chinese nationals – while Beijing continues to restrict inbound visitors and not issue visas for tourists or international students.

Officially, China has only recorded 22 Covid-19 deaths since December and has dramatically narrowed the criteria for classifying such deaths – meaning that Beijing’s  Covid statistics are now widely seen as not reflecting reality.

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