China Expands Global Travel Ban, Tells Foreign Diplomats to Stay Out

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Posted: Apr 03, 2020 4:00 PM
China Expands Global Travel Ban, Tells Foreign Diplomats to Stay Out

Source: Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP

The Chinese Communist Party on Friday announced an important warning to foreign diplomats not currently in the country: Keep out. 

The warning follows a ban on all foreign travelers issued last week, including those holding long-term and resident visas. In that ban, however, Ambassadors representing other nations were exempted. The Foreign Minister said at the time that ban on incoming travelers was a precaution to stop a recurrence of the COVID-19 Wuhan Coronavirus which originated in the Chinese Hubei region. The ban included a comment that included a charge against many nations who the CCP felt had failed in their response, posing a threat to China who claimed to have beaten the spread. 

"Diplomats have immunity due to their posts, but the virus does not know that,” said a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry Hua Chunyin on Friday. “Therefore, taking into account the need of the current prevention and control situation and the safety of foreign diplomatic and consular personnel in China, we suggest that all diplomatic missions suspend for the time being personnel returns or rotations." Thus far, diplomats their entourages already in China are unaffected. 

The U.S. State Department said in response that they expected China to maintain the status quo of the existing relationship between the two nations. 

"The U.S. Embassy expects our diplomats to abide by Chinese laws while they are living here,” said a spokesman at the United States Embassy in Beijing. “However, we also expect the People’s Republic of China to uphold the Vienna Convention that lays out protections and safeguards for our diplomats while on official assignment in this country."

China claims to be making broad decisions that interrupt global diplomatic relationships as a guard against a recurrence of hot spots in their nation. Reports this week from U.S. intelligence have indicated, however, that China had grossly misrepresented the number of Chinese citizens currently infected with the novel virus, and had also failed to report deaths and regions of spread. Suspicions about China's reported, a sudden drop in the spread of COVID-19 while other countries like Italy, Spain, and the United States are ravaged abounded. 

"The claim that the United States has more coronavirus deaths than China is false,” Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE), said on Wednesday. “Without commenting on any classified information, this much is painfully obvious: The Chinese Communist Party has lied, is lying, and will continue to lie about coronavirus to protect the regime."

The CCP has also been under heavy global criticism for a lack of early reporting on the concerns and impacts the new coronavirus was having in their country. Travel continued to and from China for weeks after Wuhan was beset with the mysterious new illness. 

The wide-ranging foreign travel ban enacted last week followed the removal of the majority of China-based U.S. press representatives, a curious move that left many to wonder what it was the Communist Party did not want to be reported in the United States. 

Since reporting a nearly totally flattening of viral within their own borders earlier this month, China has cast itself as the global leader in fighting the virus. In so doing, they have attracted further ridicule for distributing faulty medical equipment and refusing to shut down their "wet markets," which are thought to be originators for several exotic illnesses that claim human life. Additionally, doctors and whistle-blowers within China have mysteriously disappeared after attempting to take stories of infection and disease to the global stage.