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The recent imposition of COVID-19 restrictions on travellers from China by more than a dozen countries has left Chinese people feeling deeply unhappy at what some view as a selective application of science.

Countries such as France, Italy, Japan and the United States have placed various conditions on travellers from China – including pre-departure negative tests, on-arrival testing and fever checks.

South Korea went a step further announcing it was placing visa restrictions on Chinese citizens, forcing Beijing to retaliate by halting short-term visas for South Korean citizens.

“Some countries have taken entry restrictions targeting only Chinese travellers. This lacks scientific basis,” China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said earlier this month.

China has experienced an explosion in COVID cases and deaths over the past month after abruptly doing away with the country’s strict “zero-COVID” strategy and dropping restrictions on travel.

Some 60,000 people were reported to have died from the virus between December 8 and January 12, according to the Chinese government, though even that figure could underestimate the true extent of the death toll.

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