Latest Official News-Some Int’l Students will Return to China

Prasar Bharati: Regarding the return of international students, according to some reports, the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad has issued visas to Pakistani students this month. Can you please confirm this? How many visas have been issued? And how were these students selected? What is the procedure they will have to follow when coming to China?

Zhao Lijian: I know you are keenly interested in the matter of Indian students returning to China for their studies. You have raised relevant questions here many times. We fully understand how you feel and the feelings of international students including those in India, who are looking eagerly forward to returning to China at an early date to continue their education. Amid the complicated and severe COVID-19 situation, the Chinese government attaches high importance to the issue of foreign students returning to China to pursue their studies. On the basis of ensuring safety, it is coordinating arrangement for a small number of foreign students with actual needs to return to China in light of the changing international epidemic situation and the characteristics of the studentsโ€™ majors. The students concerned must strictly comply with Chinaโ€™s epidemic prevention protocols.

China has taken these reasonable measures with a view to protecting the health and safety of all Chinese citizens as well as foreign nationals in China. We hope and believe that we will have your understanding.โ€‚

Follow-up: Is there a general policy of China regarding international studentsโ€™ return, like on what basis visas will be issued to students from which country? How is it decided? Like today, you have not denied this report regrading Pakistani students. Can you please give us a little more clarity on the policy front?

Zhao Lijian: I already offered some explanation. If you would like to find out more about the specifics, we could try to get more information from the competent authorities. As I said, on the basis of ensuring safety, the Chinese government is coordinating arrangement for a small number of foreign students with actual needs to return to China in light of the changing international epidemic situation and the characteristics of the studentsโ€™ majors. This is a process that takes time. Relevant work is under way.

Follow-up: So what are these needs? Only a few international students you said who have the need to return? What does this mean?

Zhao Lijian: You are also aware of the current COVID-19 situation. As the tsunami of Omicron variant continues to rage across the world, China has taken reasonable and necessary prevention and control measures aimed at protecting the health and safety of Chinese citizens, foreign nationals in China as well as a small number of international students coming to China. We will consider in a coordinated manner the matter of foreign students returning to their classes in China, actively explore feasible options and gradually arrange for those with the need to return in an orderly fashion.

(Source: Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijianโ€™s Regular Press Conference on March 14, 2022)

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