China has made it mandatory for people returning from 20 nations, including India, to get vaccinated with China-made Covid-19 vaccine to gain entry.
Chinese Embassy in New Delhi, India posted a notice that read, “For the purpose of resuming people-to-people exchanges in an orderly manner, starting from March 15, 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.”
The development poses further hurdles for thousands of Indian and other nationalities students studying in China, most of whom are medical students, professionals working in China and their families who are stranded in native countries awaiting for return to China. The new requisite will be difficult for Indians specially as China-made Covid-19 vaccine is still not available in India. Despite of repeated representations from Indian Embassy on behalf of these individuals and appeals from students, Beijing has still not responded positively.
Such notices were up at Chinese Embassies in 19 other countries.
On being asked of rationale behind this decision, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, “Our proposal to facilitate the travel of those who have been inoculated with Chinese vaccines is made after thoroughly considering safety and efficacy of Chinese vaccines.”
He added, “We believe this is a meaningful exploration of facilitating international travel once mass vaccination has been achieved. It is not linked to the recognition of Chinese vaccines.” It was pointed out to Mr. Lijian if it would be better that China would have recognized Covid-19 vaccines endorsed by WHO (World Health Organization) like Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines. Zhao said that this step is to facilitate international travel and has been taken in a meaningful and well though way. WHO is yet to approve or recognize China-made Covid-19 vaccine.