Beijing on Monday defended its travel restrictions enforced in view of the coronavirus pandemic that has stopped people stranded in India to return to China.

Hua Chunying, the spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, said that Beijing applies quarantine measures equally for all inbound travellers, including its own citizens.

“With effective prevention and control measures in place, China is willing to work with all countries, India included, to make proper arrangement for the exchanges of personnel in the context of Covid-19,” Hua said at a press briefing.

She was responding to a question on Indian ambassador to China Vikram Misri’s criticism on the travel restrictions. Last week, Misri had said that the travel ban reflected an “unscientific approach” from the Chinese authorities.

Misri had said: “I might add here that India has also attempted to keep our trade and commercial relationship insulated from current differences, for instance by continuing to issue visas to Chinese businesspersons to visit India.”

On Monday, Hua said that China has been following science-based control measures to safeguard the life of its citizens.

“Given the ongoing spread of the coronavirus across the globe, the Chinese government has to adopt a series of management measures, which is timely adjusted in accordance with the evolving situation, in order to ensure the safe, healthy and orderly flow of Chinese and foreign travelers,” she said. “China’s prevention and control measures are scientific, professional and appropriate.”

More than 23,000 Indian students studying in Chinese colleges, businessmen, employees and their families have been stuck in India since last year after travel restrictions were enforced and flights were suspended due to the pandemic, reported PTI. A large number of Chinese citizens are also stranded in India.

These restrictions have also resulted in several people losing their jobs and businesses.

Meanwhile, several students on Monday staged a demonstration in front of the Chinese embassy in Delhi to protest against the visa curbs that have prevented them from returning to Beijing, PTI reported, citing Indian embassy in China.