China raised the stakes in an international vaccine competition on Saturday, saying foreigners wishing to enter the Chinese mainland from Hong Kong would face fewer paperwork requirements if they were vaccinated with Chinese-made coronavirus vaccines.
The Policy announcement, Which covers foreigners applying for visas in the Chinese territory, comes one day after the United States, India, Japan and Australia. Announce the plans To provide vaccines on a larger scale to other countries. The four so-called powers have promised to help finance the production of at least one billion doses of the Coronavirus vaccine in India by the end of next year.
China is trying to increase the international appeal of its shots, even as scientists and foreign governments are urging Chinese vaccine makers to be more transparent about their clinical trial data. China had sent vaccines to 69 countries by the end of February and started commercial exports to 28 countries, said Guo Weimin, a Chinese government spokesman.
Chinese state media organizations have also launched a disinformation campaign questioning the safety of Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech shots and promoting Chinese vaccines as better alternatives.
However, the Chinese-made vaccines have not been approved by most Western regulators Hungary agreed to buy five million doses. China has not yet agreed to manufacture or distribute foreign vaccines within its borders.
This week, China Submit an international electronic passport For its citizens, it clarifies whether the traveler has been vaccinated against Corona virus. But it was not immediately clear how much difference the policy announcement issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Saturday would make for foreigners living in Hong Kong, given that China has issued almost no visas recently.
Additionally, Hong Kong’s borders have been closed to non-residents for nearly a year. So the new policy will not help many foreigners in other countries who wish to return to mainland China for work or family reasons.
The Hong Kong government allows residents to choose between the Sinovac vaccine from mainland China and a copy of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that it imported from Germany. The announcement on Saturday did not specify whether people in Hong Kong who had already received the Pfizer-BioNTech injection would need to be vaccinated again with the Sinovac product.
Alan Pape, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, said that border restrictions have become the biggest concern of multinational companies doing business in the country, and questioned the need to restrict entry based on which vaccine travelers choose.
He said: “It is not clear to us what is the difference between getting an imported vaccine and one that is produced in China.”
Liu YiContribute to the research.