China on Friday announced plans to permit the return of some” Indian students stranded in India for over two years following the visa and flight restrictions imposed by Beijing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here that China attaches high importance to Indian students’ concerns about returning to China for studies. We have shared with the Indian side the procedures and experiences of other countries’ students returning to China.
Actually, the work for Indian students’ return has already been started. All that remains to be done is for the Indian side to provide the list of students who really need to come back to China, he said.
As per earlier reports, over 23,000 Indian students, mostly studying medicine in Chinese colleges, are stuck in India after they returned home as the coronavirus broke out in China in December 2019. They could not return to China due to the restrictions imposed by the Chinese
government to arrest the spread of the contagion.
Since then, they made desperate attempts to return to China to re-join their classes but had to confine themselves to online classes as Beijing cancelled all flights and visas for Indians. Besides the students, hundreds of families of Indians working in China too were stuck back home in view of China cancelling visas and flights from India.
We understand that there is a large number of Indian students studying in China. India may need some time to collect the names. China is ready to receive some Indian students under the current complicated severe pandemic situation.
In handling, foreign students returning to China for studies, we need to take into consideration the international epidemic situation, the evolving circumstances, and their majors. This principle applies equally to all foreign students, Zhao said.
Asked about the timeline to permit the return of Indian students, Zhao said the Chinese embassy in India and existing channels will work to facilitate and offer convenience to the students.
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