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Global Times

FM fires back at US' suggested changes to China's COVID-19 rules

Global Times

By Global Times Published: Jan 29, 2022 12:51 AM

In response to the Biden administration's recommended changes to China's COVID-19 rules and requirements, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Friday that China's dynamic zero-COVID-19 policy and epidemic prevention protocol are based on science and experts' opinions. The Global Times learned from a source familiar with the matter that the US may have ulterior motives.

"China is the safest country in the world. Our dynamic zero-COVID policy and epidemic-prevention protocols are based on science and experts' opinions. They are in keeping with China's realities and the WHO's guiding principles," Zhao said in response to the comments made by US State Department spokesman Ned Price.

The US has long-standing concerns regarding China's quarantine and testing policies that run counter to diplomatic privileges and immunities, Price told a press briefing on Thursday. He said the US government has discussed it with Chinese authorities and recommended "what we think are a series of reasonable options that would be consistent with COVID-19 mitigation measures, and at the same time align with international diplomatic norms and practices."

The regulations apply equally to Chinese and foreign nationals living in China, Zhao said. And the practice is consistent with provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and fully accommodates the comfort and legitimate rights and interests of diplomatic and consular personnel posted in China.

US hyping of COVID-19 rules came after the Global Times exclusively learned from a source familiar with the matter late Tuesday night that the US State Department is considering allowing its embassy and consulates to authorize the departure of their employees in China, citing "China's epidemic situation."

By politicizing China's anti-epidemic work, such ill-intentioned tactics expose only the true intention of Washington in sabotaging the Winter Olympic Games and its inconsistent China policy, some experts said.

Despite the plan for authorized departures, both the US State Department and the US Embassy in China indicated that the operating status at US missions in China have not changed.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry earlier blasted such a plot by saying that the logic behind the US' decision is confusing and hardly justifiable, as evacuating from the safest place in the world will only expose US personnel to much greater risks of infection.

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