Home >News >India >New Delhi in touch with China to seek early resumption of travel by Indians

India on Thursday said those Indian nationals vaccinated with Chinese made vaccines should be issued visas for travel to China for work or study.

Taking issue with China stopping travel for Indians since November last year when there was no restriction on Chinese national travelling to India, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said : “ As conveyed earlier, we have been in touch with the Chinese side in order to seek an early resumption of travel by Indian citizens to China, especially for those who work or study there." “While we recognize the need to ensure safety and strictly follow covid related protocols, essential two way travel should be facilitated, especially keeping in view the fact that Chinese nationals are able to travel to India," Bagchi said.

He pointed out that people from China including Chinese nationals were able to travel to India despite the absence of direct connectivity. But this was not possible for Indian nationals working or studying in China after Beijing suspended their visas.

“In March this year, the Chinese Embassy issued a notification about facilitating visas for those taking Chinese-made vaccines," Bagchi said about a notification from the Chinese embassy which ahd said that only those Indians vaccinated by Chinese made vaccines would be issued visas.

“It is understood that several Indian nationals have applied for Chinese visas after getting vaccinated in that manner but are yet to be issued visas. Since these Indian nationals have apparently met the requirements laid down by the Chinese side, we hope that the Chinese Embassy would be able to issue them visas soon," Bagchi added.

India has not cleared Chinese vaccines Sinopharm and Sinovac for emergency use in India despite its rising numbers of covid-19 cases. India has been relying on the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine produced in India by Serum Institute and the Bharat Biotech developed Covaxin. According to news reports, Indian students and those Indians working in China have taken shots of China manufactured vaccines in countries like the UAE, Nepal or the Maldives.

The Indian foreign ministry website said that there are around 23,000 Indian students studying in various universities in China in various disciplines. The Indian community numbers about 30,000. A number of Indians and people of Indian origin are also working as professionals with various multinational and Indian companies.

On the issue of Indian students and others being unable to travel to other countries, Bagchi said the foreign ministry was working actively to protect the interests of such people.

“We have been taking this issue up with concerned governments on priority," he said adding that the foreign ministry had asked Indian students facing difficulties to contact the ministry.

He also said that Bharat Biotech had sought emergency use listing for its vaccine – Covaxin – from the World Health Organisation, “We hope that this process of getting approval is completed at an early date. I understand that (the Russian made) Sputnik vaccine has also applied for emergency use listing," Bagchi added.

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