China’s coronavirus lockdown was expanded on Thursday by a warning from NIA that movement across China’s border will be restricted.
Chinese social networks are buzzing with people who claim their passports were taken without any justification from border police.
China’s state-run Global Times confirmed the escalating travel bans would block both outsiders entering China and Chinese citizens attempting to travel abroad:
To consolidate China’s epidemic prevention achievements, the immigration administration put Beijing as the priority and said the capital’s anti-epidemic policies would be strictly applied. In order to support the achievement of epidemic prevention in Northeast China’s Jilin Province, and Shanghai at zero-COVID status at community level, the administration required that border inspection departments fully support Shanghai.
The immigration administration emphasized the need to stop COVID-19 entering China through the gathering of stranded people at border points or in illegal border crossings, while keeping ports unimpeded for necessary entry and exit to support economic development.
The railway police are on duty in the waiting room in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. (Stringer/Getty Images)
The regime tried to present its stricter restrictions as a clampdown upon “non-essential travel,” within and outside China.
Radio Free Asia (RFA) noted the responses on China’s tightly-controlled social media platform were “terse and sarcastic, yet with a hint of panic”:
“Sure enough, disease control and prevention is a panacea,” @Fangtou commented from Shanghai, while @HeyLucas123 added from Beijing: “They’re afraid everyone will seek a happier life overseas.”
User @Cucumber mixed with coriander 39466 added from Shanghai: “The front door is welded shut, don’t even think about trying to run, just stay in China and have fun.”
And @Libra signed: “I feel increasingly lately that the pandemic was just an excuse We cannot run away now! They first lock down the entire country, then they lock down the city. We’re the last generation, and we get to watch everyone die!”
China on Thursday announced it would place strict curbs on “non-essential” travel overseas by its nationals, amid a surge in immigration inquiries after weeks of grueling mass testing, lockdowns and forcible mass transportation to quarantine camps. https://t.co/GP8KyfOSYt
— Radio Free Asia (@RadioFreeAsia) May 13, 2022
The Chinese government on Friday unconvincingly denied a tidal wave of reports on social media that border officials are confiscating passports from travelers, a few of which were quoted by Macau Business:
A Chinese citizen who recently came back from Bangkok by air reported on social media that he saw that some passengers on the same plane got their passports snipped by a border inspector at the Guangzhou port, after being asked whether they would go abroad again.
Some Chinese mainland netizens posted on social media that they were denied entry to China. They also reported that border officers had cut their Chinese passports. This was despite the fact they have all the necessary supporting documents.
Another Chinese student who is a Canadian citizen was also questioned about his plans to study in Canada. After answering that he was going to take the language class first, with no offline class at the moment, the border officer cut his passport immediately and said there is no need to go overseas if no offline classes are req