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Why China complains about the Italian way to Covid restrictions

As China abruptly lifts its zero-covid policy, the rest of the world follows Italy’s lead on limiting inbound travellers from the East. A practice Beijing threatens retaliation and sets off its propaganda machine

That’s not fair. On Tuesday, China referred to the growing international restrictions on travellers from its territory as “unacceptable”. More than a dozen countries imposed new Covid bans on travellers from the most populous country in the world.

  • “Some countries have taken entry restrictions targeting only Chinese travellers,” foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a regular briefing. “This lacks scientific basis and some practices are unacceptable,” she added, warning China could ”take countermeasures based on the principle of reciprocity”.

Italy led the way. As reported by Decode39, Italy led the way in China testing. Last week, it became the first Western country to impose mandatory Covid testing for inbound passengers from the People’s Republic of China.

  • On December 26 at Milan airport, one out of two tested patients resulted positive for testing.
  • France, Canada, the United States, Japan and others followed Italy’s example announcing restrictions to curb a new pandemic wave.
  • Asked about China’s reaction, French PM Elisabeth Borne defended the new rules.

The propaganda machine. Beijing immediately started its propaganda machine, complaining about racism and unfairness.

  • Former editor-in-chief of Chinese state media Global Times tweeted criticism, stating that while China re-opens, other countries restrict travelling.
  • Global Times wrote about “sinophobia” and “racism” preventing the West from seeing China’s Covid “fight fairly”.

It’s all about trustworthiness. China failed to provide information about the first Covid-19 outbreak. Why should they be cooperative now?

  • China’s steep rise in infections comes after Beijing abruptly lifted years of hardline restrictions last month, with hospitals and crematoriums quickly overwhelmed.
  • Since December, China has only reported 22 Covid deaths, and the criteria for identifying such deaths have been drastically reduced. As a result, Beijing’s data regarding the unprecedented surge are now widely believed to be inaccurate.
  • As millions of people get ready to fly back to their hometowns for the week-long Lunar New Year public vacation beginning January 21, Chinese authorities are already preparing for a viral wave to attack the underdeveloped rural heartland of the country.

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