The number of lives lost to Covid-19 in the UK has passed 50,000, the government has confirmed on November 11th. The Department of Health said an additional 595 people had died after contracting the virus – bringing the official death toll to 50,365. In the past 24 hours, daily number of deaths passed 500 for the first time since mid-May.
This dire news came just days after China temporarily suspended UK travellers from entering its borders.
What’s the latest if you need to travel to China?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, China has decided to temporarily suspend entry into China by non-Chinese nationals in the UK holding visas or residence permits still valid at the time of the initial announcement (4 November 2020). The Chinese Embassy and Consulates in the UK will no longer issue a Certified Health Declaration Form for the above-mentioned personnel.
Entry by holders of diplomatic, service, courtesy or C visas will not be affected. Foreign nationals visiting China for emergency needs may apply for visas at Chinese Embassy or Consulates. Entry by non-Chinese nationals in the UK with visas issued after 3 November 2020 will not be affected.
The suspension is a temporary response necessitated by the current situation of Covid-19. The above-mentioned measures will be assessed in accordance with the evolving situation and any adjustment will be announced accordingly.
In view of the current COVID-19 situation and the need of epidemic prevention and control, China only opened back its borders on 28 September 2020, to foreign nationals holding valid Chinese residence permits for work, personal matters and reunion are allowed to enter China with no need for applying for new visas.
UK ties with China generate some 129,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs, according to a Building on Cambridge Econometric report.
UK-Hong Kong relations have been fractious of late even on British soil, which only adds to the already tense trade climate between the two countries. The news section of China’s Embassy in the UK is filled with rejections of UK media reports.
Earlier this month, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the UK made a statement in response to a Hong Kong-related Statement by High-level Official from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
China’s Embassy spokesperson posed the following question and dutifully answered it in an official statement on the Embassy’s website.
Question: On November 3rd, a high-level official from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the UK issued a statement on the arrest by Hong Kong police of the so-called “democratically elected” and former lawmakers, calling the arrest “politically driven” and saying that “the rights and freedoms of the Hong Kong people are enshrined in the Joint Declaration” and the UK expects “all arrests and judicial processes to be conducted in a fair and transparent manner.”
What was the comment of the Chinese Embassy in the UK?
Embassy Spokesperson: China upholds the rule of law. Hong Kong leads the world in rule-of-law indicators. Hong Kong residents enjoy unprecedented democratic rights and extensive freedoms in accordance with laws and regulations, including the Constitution of China and the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Everyone is equal in front of law. No one is above law, and any violation of law will be punished in accordance with law.
The lawful execution of duty and strict enforcement of law by the Hong Kong police brook no slandering, discrediting or disruption. Hong Kong has been returned to China. Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs. The China-UK Joint Declaration does not give the UK sovereignty, jurisdiction or right to supervision over Hong Kong SAR. The Chinese side urges the UK side to recognize the reality and stop taking the Joint Declaration as an excuse to interfere in Hong Kong affairs, which are internal affairs of China.
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