China will not allow foreign students, including Indians, to return to the country for now because of coronavirus-related travel restrictions, the Indian Embassy in Beijing said on Monday.
The embassy said that it had been following up with Chinese authorities about the concerns of Indian students regarding their early return to educational institutions, and that it will continue to do so.
The Indian embassy added that Chinese authorities have instructed universities to stay in touch with students and provide them necessary information, along with continuing online class. “It has also been suggested by Chinese authorities that Indian students stay in touch with their universities and pursue their studies in accordance with the suggestions and guidance of the universities,” the embassy added.
The embassy cited Beijing’s statement from last week, where it said the government gave high importance to the interests of foreign students. “On the pre-condition of observing containment protocols, the Chinese authorities will study this matter in a coordinated manner and keep in communication with relevant parties,” the Chinese government had said.
The Indian embassy also clarified that China’s notification about facilitating visas for foreigners did not apply to students.
More than 4.4 lakh foreign students study in China, according to PTI. This includes over 23,000 Indians studying in Chinese medical colleges.
The Chinese government’s communication came amid a surge in coronavirus cases in India. On Monday, the country registered 46,951 daily infections, taking its overall count to 1,16,46,081. This is the highest one-jump in coronavirus cases since November 7. India’s toll rose by 212 to 1,59,967.