Withdrawing from China, the ‘safest place,’ increases risks of COVID-19 infections for US personnel: Chinese FM
Published: Jan 26, 2022 04:27 PM

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian

China has expressed serious concerns and dissatisfaction to the US over reports that the US is considering to authorize departures of American diplomats in Beijing over China's COVID-19 rules, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Wednesday, noting China is undoubtedly the safest country in the world right now and withdrawing from the safest place will only greatly increase the risk of infections for US personnel. 

The US' logic is hard to understand, Zhao said at Wednesday's media briefing. He said China hopes that the US will abide by and cooperate with China's epidemic prevention regulations, take China's position and concerns seriously. 

Zhao's remarks came after an exclusive report of the Global Times said the US Department of State is mulling to approve the US Embassy and consulates to authorize the departure of their US employees in China, citing reasons for "China's epidemic situation." 

The Global Times learned this information from a source familiar with the matter on Tuesday.

Reuters said that the American diplomats and their families wish to leave due to the US government's "inability" to prevent Chinese authorities from subjecting them to "intrusive" pandemic control measures.

However, Zhao said China's COVID-19 prevention and control measures are rigorous, scientific and effective, which have well protected foreign nationals in China. China's epidemic prevention and control measures comply with the relevant regulations including the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations,giving full consideration to comfort and legitimate rights of diplomatic and consular personnel,Zhao said.

Global Times