International students may have to wait longer to return to China as the country’s zero-COVID policy took another hit earlier this week when its first local omicron breakout was discovered in Tianjin.
Cities around China are enacting stricter regulations in an attempt to contain future COVID-19 outbreaks, with Tianjin facing the extremely contagious omicron strain.
- International students may have to wait longer to return to China, as the country was hammered again this week when the first local Omicron outbreak was identified.
- Beijing has been criticized for prioritizing international athletes over students and workers who have been stranded abroad for more than two years.
- China has been firm in its refusal to accept international visitors, and no official date has been set for when the country’s borders will reopen.
Authorities and health officials in Tianjin have organized rapid mass testing for the city’s 14 million citizens, imposed severe lockdown measures in 29 residential zones, and asked residents to stay in the city unless it is necessary.
Previously, those who are barred from entering China, especially international students, have criticized China’s faith in its COVID-19 management strategy for handling the Olympics.
Many people have criticized Beijing for favoring international athletes over students and workers who have been stranded abroad for more than two years. China has remained steadfast in its refusal to accept foreign travelers, and no official announcement has been made as to when its borders could reopen.
Aside from border closures, China’s lack of concern for international students is perhaps most evident in the absence of any mention of international education. Since they were virtually locked out of on-campus learning in March 2020, China’s allegedly insensitive handling of international students abroad has enraged them.
International students who are insistent on returning after two years of poor online lectures, especially those excluded from lab work and practicum required to complete their degrees, may find traveling to China a bleak prospect.
In 2021, the number of business expats and international student enrolment in China is also said to have decreased, a trend that is expected to continue if Beijing continues to prohibit international travel.
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