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Recently, China issued a new policy for foreign travellers from various nations namely India, Pakistan ,Sri Lanka and the United States of America regarding visa applications.

The new notification issued by the Chinese Embassy states that “for the purpose of resuming people-to-people exchanges in an orderly manner, starting from 15 March 2021, the Chinese embassies and consulates in India will provide the persons having taken Chinese-made Covid-19 vaccine and holding the certificates of vaccination with the following facilitating measures”.

China had barred the entry of foreigners from India in November in the wake of rising coronavirus cases, and the following statement was issued “foreigners holding Chinese diplomatic, service, courtesy and C visas are not affected. Foreigners with emergency or humanitarian needs to visit China can submit a visa application to the Chinese Embassy/ Consulates in India. The entry into China with visas issued after November 3rd, 2020 is not affected”.

The statement makes it compulsory to take a Chinese covid-19 vaccine , which is not possible for Indians as the Government of India has not approved the Chinese made vaccines .

Accordingly, travellers from India will be required to present the Electronic Health Declaration Form for boarding. Also, they will need to fill in the information, declare the health status and upload the negative certificate of nucleic acid test and IgM antibody test, passport page, as well as valid Chinese visa or residence permit, which will then be examined and verified by the Chinese Embassy or Consulates in India.

According to estimates, around 23,000 Indian students are studying in China and of this, 21,000 pursuing medicine. The visa policy has hampered their chances to make their way back to their respective institutions in China.

Though the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday that China “stands ready to advance mutual recognition of vaccines with other countries”, that process might take a while.

The same policy applies to travellers from different nations namely the United States of America, Pakistan and Sri Lanka too. They can travel to China once they have been inoculated with Chinese vaccines. In addition to this, the travellers arriving in China will still have to quarantine for up to three weeks.

China’s vaccines have been rolled out in several countries around the world, including Turkey, Indonesia and Cambodia. The Philippines received 600,000 vaccine doses from China two weeks ago, kickstarting its inoculation drive.

China has struggled to gain international trust for its vaccine candidates, hindered by a lack of transparency on test results. This can be seen as China’s novel attempt of getting countries to take the Chinese vaccine.

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