China Suspends Short-Term Visas For South Koreans Over COVID Curbs Day After Calling Seoul 'Inseparable Partner'

China, on Tuesday, suspended issuing short-term visas for South Korean visitors in retaliation to travel restrictions imposed by Seoul on Chinese travelers.

What Happened: The Chinese Embassy in Seoul, on its official WeChat account, announced that visas for business, tourism, medical treatment, transit and general private affairs would be suspended from Jan. 10. 

It said the move was triggered by the South Korean government’s decision to impose restrictions on Chinese travelers, adding that it would adjust the policy subject to the lifting of Seoul’s “discriminatory entry restrictions” against China. 

See Also: With Xi Jinping Likely To Visit US In November, Former Obama Advisor Predicts ‘Calmer Environment’ In Relations With China

The development comes a day after Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang expressed concern about the restrictions in a telephone call with his South Korean counterpart Park Jin, according to China’s foreign ministry. “Qin Gang said that China and South Korea are close neighbors who cannot be moved away, and are also inseparable partners.”

Meanwhile, Lim Soo Suk, a spokesperson for the South Korean foreign ministry, defending the government’s stance, told a briefing, “Our government’s enhanced quarantine measures on travelers from China are based on scientific and objective evidence,” reported Reuters. 

“We have been transparently exchanging related information with the international community and have also been communicating with the Chinese side.”

Last week, South Korea joined a list of countries that began requiring travelers from Beijing to undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival amid rising concern over infections after China’s eased curbs last month

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsGlobalGeneralBeijingChinaCovid-19EurasiaSeoulSouth Korea
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