Foreigners seeking to enter China can now get a Chinese COVID-19 vaccine shot to lessen their load of visa paperwork, the Chinese foreign ministry stated on March 15.
The new visa rule, which took effect on March 15, marks Beijing’s latest attempt to win international appeal for its homegrown vaccines.
Zhao Lijian, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, said at a March 15 briefing that the decision was made “with a view to resuming international travel in an orderly fashion.”
“China stands ready to advance mutual recognition of vaccination with other countries,” he said. While Zhao didn’t clarify how widely the visa relaxation would apply, similar notices have appeared on the websites of around a dozen Chinese embassies, including those in Israel, Thailand, Philippines, and Vietnam.
China’s regime has promoted its homegrown vaccines globally, exporting “vaccine aid” to 69 countries as of the end of February, while carrying out disinformation to discredit its vaccine rivals.
Chinese vaccine trials around the world have, meanwhile, received lackluster results.
None of the Chinese drug makers have made detailed clinical trial data public.
Safety scares have also dealt setbacks to the regime’s vaccination efforts.
“I don’t know of any Chinese companies that have applied for approval in Japan,” Tokyo’s Olympic minister told the nation’s public broadcaster NHK.
Chen Kuide, a dissident Chinese scholar, told The Epoch Times that the regime has made vaccine diplomacy one of its top objectives to “shut the mouth” of the recipient countries and block criticisms over the transparency around the virus origin.
“There could be a lot of backlashes, but that’s beyond what they can deal with, because this is the most immediate issue,” he said.