China Establishes Entry "Fast Track" With THIS Country!

Source: China Daily

China and the Republic of Korea are opening a fast-track lane for key business, logistics, production, technical and service personnel with an urgent need to travel between the two countries, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Thursday.

Geng said the "innovative move" was the most important outcome of the second video conference of a joint response and cooperation mechanism on novel coronavirus pneumonia between the two countries on Wednesday.

"The fast-track lane aims to provide convenience for key personnel exchanges between the two countries as required for resuming work and production while ensuring epidemic prevention," he said at a regular news conference in Beijing.

It would help maintain and develop bilateral business and trade cooperation, and keep the industrial and supply chains in both countries running in a stable and smooth way, he added.

China is ROK's largest trading partner, with two-way trade volume in the first nine months of last year reaching $210.15 billion, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Due to China's temporary suspension of entry by most foreigners, which started in late March, only foreigners coming to China for necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities or for emergency humanitarian needs can apply for visas.

Xing Haiming, the newly appointed Chinese ambassador to ROK, told Yonhap News Agency in Seoul on Wednesday that China had only issued 108 visas around the world recently, with many of them issued to ROK citizens.

Geng said both China and ROK believed that the fast-track lane would help the two countries push forward with epidemic prevention while developing their economies and societies in a coordinated way. They also agreed that it was conducive to the steady operation of industrial and supply chains in the region and around the world, he said.

The two sides will strengthen communication, Geng said, and keep improving plans according to the epidemic situation and prevention policies in both countries.

The fast-track lane, to be opened on Friday, will be applied to 10 Chinese cities and provinces in principle, including Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing, Yonhap reported.

Geng added that China was willing to discuss establishing similar fast-track lanes with other countries, and talks with some countries were already underway.