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TAIPEI, Taiwan — In its latest move to promote its coronavirus vaccines, China has said that foreigners inoculated with Chinese-made injections will enjoy certain “conveniences” when applying for entry into the country.
In announcements made in more than half a dozen countries, China said it would simplify the application process for those with certificates proving they had been given a Chinese vaccine.
Notices of the new policy to “resume people-to-people exchanges between China and other countries” were issued by Chinese embassies or consulates in the Philippines, Japan, Thailand, Germany, Italy, the United States, Israel and India as of Monday.
China has approved four vaccines for emergency use, exporting them mainly to developing countries. Its latest vaccine, approved last week, was developed by Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical company and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The final phase trials were being conducted in Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Indonesia, according to a statement from the Chinese Academy of Sciences on Monday.
For most of the last year, China has maintained tight border entry requirements, barring most foreigners, including journalists, students and business people. Those allowed entry are required to quarantine for at least two weeks and often need special approval.
Speaking on Monday afternoon, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian did not specify how the application process would be streamlined. A notice on the Chinese embassy’s website in the United States only said that foreign nationals and their family members visiting China to resume “work and production in various fields” could apply.
In India and the Philippines, notices on the embassy websites said those interested could prepare their applications “in accordance with requirements before the pandemic.” A statement issued by the embassy in Germany said applicants would not need to provide invitation letters by provincial foreign affairs or commercial departments.
The Foreign Ministry also said the criteria for emergency humanitarian visas, such as visiting family, attending funerals or seeing critically ill relatives, would be expanded.