Coronavirus/China: New reprisals against South Korea and Japan over entry restrictions

BEIJING (Reuters) – China introduced new travel restrictions for South Korean and Japanese nationals on Wednesday, suspending the visa-free transit policy, amid a diplomatic row over COVID-19 health measures. 19.

South Korea and Japan introduced mandatory testing for Chinese travelers last week, like many other countries, following Beijing’s lifting of its “zero-Covid” policy.

In retaliation, China on Tuesday suspended the issuance of visas for Japanese citizens as well as the issuance of short-term visas for visitors from South Korea.

The move prompted an official protest from Japan to China, while South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin said Seoul’s decision was based on scientific and non-discriminatory evidence and that the countermeasures of China were “deeply regrettable”.

In a sign of escalating tensions on Wednesday, the Chinese immigration service suspended the visa-free transit policy for South Koreans and Japanese.

This dispute could affect economic relations between the three neighbors.

Japanese department store operator Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd and supermarket operator Aeon have said they may have to rethink staff transfers to China depending on the length of the suspension.

“We won’t be able to do business travel in the short term, but business travel had diminished during COVID anyway, so we don’t expect an immediate impact. But if the situation lasts for a long time, it there will be an effect,” said a South Korean semiconductor industry source who declined to be identified, not being authorized to speak to the media.

(Report Yew Lun Tian and Brenda Goh; with contributions from the Beijing office; Kaori Kaneko, Mari Shiraki and Elaine Lies in Tokyo; Joyce Lee, Hyunsu Yim and Heekyong Yang in Seoul; written by Marius Zaharia; French version Augustin Turpin, edited by Kate Enteringer)

Add a Comment