The government has ‘informally’ asked all airlines not to fly Chinese nationals into the country, a report in Time of India said. Back in November, China had barred the entry of foreign nationals, including India, with valid visas and residence permit from various countries. It cited the pandemic as a reason behind its decision to stop foreigners from entering into the country.
“The Chinese Embassy/ Consulates in India will not stamp the Health Declaration Forms for the holders of the above-mentioned categories of visa or residence permits,” Chinese Embassy had said.
The TOI report said that direct flights between India and China are currently suspended. But those eligible to travel are flying in via a third country. Such passengers travel to a country with which India has a travel bubble. From there, they book a ticket for India.
Besides, Chinese nationals who are staying in countries with which India has established an air bubble are also travelling to India for their business and work.
The tourists visas to India is currently suspended. However, foreigners are allowed to enter India for work and on non-tourist visas.
Majority of the Chinese nationals flying to India are coming from European air bubble countries, the report said quoting industry sources.
India’s response comes amid reports that China has refused shore to Indian seafarers and thus they are left stranded in China waters. According to the External Affairs Ministry’s claim, two cargo vessels with a total of 39 Indians on board have been on anchorage in Chinese waters as they were not allowed to unload their cargo though some other ships have managed to do so.
The relations between two Asian giants were under stress over the current military standoff at Eastern Ladakh.
China, however, said that there was no “link” between the situation of Indian crew on two stranded ships at Chinese ports and its strained relations with India.