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Beijing Slams US Advice to Reconsider China Travel

Beijing said the country’s pandemic prevention and control is “scientific and effective,” as it fights the worst outbreak since the virus first emerged in 2019

Shanghai's economy was hit hard by the Covid lockdown in April.
Shanghai's economy was hammered by the Covid lockdown in April. Here, a man buys food from a vendor behind barricades of a sealed-off area, during the Covid outbreak. File photo: Reuters.


China’s foreign ministry expressed “strong dissatisfaction” with the US on Saturday after Washington raised concerns over China’s coronavirus control measures, warning that parents may be separated from their children in the country.

“We express strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the groundless accusations against China’s pandemic prevention policy from the US in its statement,” foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said in a statement.

Friday’s advisory said that US citizens should reconsider travel to China “due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws and Covid-19 restrictions.” It warned Americans against traveling to Hong Kong, Jilin province or Shanghai, citing a risk of parents and children being separated.

Diplomats from more than 30 countries recently wrote to China’s foreign ministry to express concern about the separations.

The US Department of State said on Friday that non-emergency staff at its Shanghai consulate and families of US employees could leave due to a surge in Covid-19 cases and related restrictions in the city.


`Scientific and Effective’

China’s foreign ministry said on Saturday that the country’s pandemic prevention and control is “scientific and effective,” adding that the government had assisted foreign diplomatic personnel as much as possible.

Shanghai is fighting China’s worst outbreak since the virus emerged in Wuhan in late 2019, with almost 25,000 new local cases reported on Sunday from the previous day.

While those case numbers are small by global standards, Shanghai’s curbs to battle the outbreak have squeezed supplies of food and other essential goods for the city of 26 million, with residents also raising concerns about access to medical care.

The most controversial of Shanghai’s practices had been separating children who test positive from their parents. Authorities have since made some concessions.

A US embassy spokesperson said in a statement on Saturday that ambassador Nicholas Burns and other officials have “raised our concerns regarding the outbreak and … control measures directly”.


  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell





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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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