On 2 March, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian gave a regular press conference. When asked for comment on the tightening prevention and control measures taken by different localities in China against overseas arrivals, Zhao has the following to say:
Under the current circumstances, different localities in China have taken, based on the epidemic situation on the ground, screening, quarantine and other measures against new arrivals from severely affected countries and regions, like temperature screening and medical observation at home or in designated places. These measures, taken in accordance with China’s laws and regulations, are necessary for epidemic control and have proved effective against cross-border transmission. They serve epidemic response in China, and in other countries as well.
Local governments will make timely adjustments to these measures in light of the evolving situation. In applying these measures, we treat foreign and Chinese citizens as equals and without discrimination. In this process, we will fully accommodate the legitimate concerns of the individuals and offer them necessary protection and assistance. China’s containment efforts have proved effective in curbing the spread of the epidemic and blocking human-to-human transmission of the virus, thus highly recognized by WHO.
We hope that people coming from severely affected countries will give full understanding and cooperation for these prevention and control measures and join us in guarding against epidemic-related risks and protecting the health and safety of ourselves and others.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the People’s Republic of China