COVID-19: China to evacuate its citizens from India

China to evacuate its citizens from India amid rise in coronavirus cases

The Embassy of China in New Delhi asked the communist country’s citizens in India to register with it by Wednesday so that a special aircraft could be arranged to fly them home.

China apparently moved to airlift its citizens in the wake of a steep spike in the number of COVID-19 positive cases in India. It, however, also came at a time, when tension escalated along the disputed boundary between the two nations in eastern Ladakh, with both the Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) deploying additional troops. It fuelled speculation if China’s plan to evacuate its citizens from India was also linked to its prognosis about further escalation of tension along the site of the military build-ups by the both sides or elsewhere along the Line of Actual Control – the de facto border between the two nations.

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The notice issued by the Embassy of China in New Delhi on evacuation of the Chinese from India had no reference to the situation along the LAC near the northern bank of the Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh. It, however, stated that the evacuees from India would have to pay for their airfare as well as for their mandatory stay in quarantine facilities for 14 days after their arrival in China.   

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 “Under the unified arrangement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant departments, the Chinese embassy and Consulates in India will assist students, tourists, and temporary businessmen in India who have difficulties and are in urgent need of returning home to take temporary flights back to China,” the notice issued by the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi said.

 It said that people with the COVID-19 infection or having symptoms of COVID-19 – temperature and cough– will not be allowed to board the aircraft.

 India evacuated its citizens from Wuhan, the “ground zero” of the COVID-19 pandemic, in central China in January. 



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