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China advises foreign diplomats to postpone their return

China has issued a travel advisory to the foreign embassies to postpone the return of diplomats and personnel rotation for a further two weeks until June 1. The step has been taken to reduce the risk of importing new coronavirus cases from overseas, according to multiple diplomatic sources.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs had already issued a similar advisory on April 3 restricting their return to the country until May 15, after earlier prohibiting all foreigners, including those with visas and residence permits, from entering the country.

“China hopes foreign embassies continue to understand and cooperate with China’s epidemic-prevention measures, and consider such factors as journey safety and work demands when arranging the return and rotation of diplomatic personnel,” the ministry said.

“China is dedicated to providing a sound living environment for foreign diplomats in the country.”

Some diplomats have complained that Beijing’s restrictions on movement are excessive and contravene the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, which guarantees the free passage of envoys and diplomatic personnel.

While the Coronavirus is in largely under control in China, the deadly virus continues to wreak havoc elsewhere. There are over 4.5 million confirmed cases and over 3 lakh deaths around the world.

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