China referred to the growing international restrictions on travelers from its territory as “unacceptable”, after more than a dozen countries imposed new Covid restrictions on travelers from the most populous country in the world.
“We believe that the entry restrictions adopted by some countries targeting China lack scientific basis; and some excessive practices are even more unacceptable,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a daily briefing on Tuesday.
“We are firmly opposed to attempts to manipulate the Covid measures for political purposes and will take countermeasures based on the principle of reciprocity,” she said.
Several nations, including the US, Canada, Japan, and France, are requiring all visitors from China to show negative Covid tests. This is as concerns continue to grow over a surge in cases in China.
China’s steep rise in infections comes after Beijing abruptly lifted years of hardline restrictions last month. Lifting Covid restrictions has left hospitals and crematoriums swiftly overburdened.
Beijing, however, has moved forward with a long-awaited reopening, declaring last week the end of required quarantines upon arrival. The reopening encouraged Chinese citizens to book international travel.
Asked about China’s reaction, France’s Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne defended the new rules.
“I think we’re performing our duty in asking for tests,” Borne told franceinfo radio.
“We will continue to do it.”
The rules imposed affect all travellers coming from China — not just Chinese nationals. Meanwhile, Beijing continues to restrict inbound visitors and not issue visas for tourists or international students.