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China eases visa rules for S. Korea, Japan amid spat

The South Korean flag (center), Japanese flag (far left) and Chinese flag. (123rf)
The South Korean flag (center), Japanese flag (far left) and Chinese flag. (123rf)

Chinese authorities resumed issuing visas for some South Koreans and Japanese on official or nonofficial business that requires immediate attention, Kyodo News said Monday, citing Chinese sources.

The latest relaxation of rules, which China toughened only last week by ceasing the issuing of short-term visas for the two countries, came as Seoul and Tokyo complained about Beijing’s “retaliation” for stepping up their COVID-19 travel curbs on Chinese arrivals amid a fresh surge in China’s infections.

The Chinese government did not elaborate on specific terms needed for visa approval, the Japanese news agency said, citing a Chinese official who said that authorities would look at each request individually to determine the urgency.

While suspending short-term visas for Korea and Japan last week, China’s Foreign Ministry said it had prepared policy to deal with people requesting visas for official or urgent nonofficial business. It did not detail who would meet the narrower eligibility.

By Choi Si-young (
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Korea Herald daum