China sees 32.3m entry and exit trips in Q2 as authorities optimize measures amid controlled COVID-19 situation
Published: Jul 26, 2022 10:57 PM
Photo: VCG
File Photo: VCG

A total of 32.3 million entry and exit trips were recorded in China from April to June, showing a quarter-on-quarter increase of 5.64 percent amid the growing demand of Chinese travelers to go abroad as localized outbreaks have been effectively put under control, officials of China's National Immigration Administration revealed on Tuesday at a press conference, noting that the administration has been optimizing measures along with the growing travel demand.

According to the officials, the immigration administration issued 214,000 regular passports in Q2, a rise of 41.8 percent compared with Q1 and handled residence certificate applications for about 140,000 foreigners in China, showing a quarter-on-quarter increase of about 50 percent.

Zhang Ning, a spokesperson for the immigration administration, said that, as some places in China have put local outbreaks under control, there has been an increase in demand for international trips from Chinese travelers. He noted that the administration will continue to optimize border entry and exit control measures in accordance with the epidemic situation to fully satisfy people's demand and facilitate exchanges between Chinese and overseas personnel.

According to the administration, border entry and exit applications will be timely dealt with if the applicants indeed need to enter or exit China for some reason, especially for epidemic control and construction work, transportation, trade, business, studies overseas, exams and family reunions. An expedite channel will be provided if the situation is really urgent, according to the officials.

Recent positive signs that China is gradually reopening its borders to the world include halving the quarantine time for international inbound travelers and the streamlining of procedures for those coming to the Chinese mainland, which are good news for the rapid resumption of people-to-people exchanges, with students swarming back home and the tourism industry yearning for a possible comeback of international travel.

In a latest move, China approved Biman Bangladesh Airlines to operate flights on two commercial routes to Guangzhou and Kunming, according to the Embassy of China in Bangladesh. The approval is expected to further facilitate travel of students and entrepreneurs between both countries, media reported.

During a press conference on Thursday, the spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wang Wenbin, said that China has made positive progress in welcoming back stranded foreign students, including those from India, to return to China and that relevant government departments are keeping a close contact to allow the first group of students from India to return to their studies in China as soon as possible.

In another positive gesture, when attending the World Economic Forum Special Virtual Dialogue with Global Business Leaders on July 19, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang promised to relax restrictions on international travel, including facilitating people-to-people exchanges.

However, Zhang warned on Tuesday that, although some countries have eased travel restrictions, the global situation of the pandemic is not too optimistic and international travel will bring a high infection risk.

The national immigration administration will continue to build a strong defensive line to prevent imported cases while fully satisfying cross-border flows and facilitate production and operation of businesses, Zhang noted.