China suspends visa issuance for South Koreans in retaliation for restrictions

The Chinese Embassy in Seoul has announced it has suspended issuance of short-term visas for South Koreans traveling to China.

The embassy said on Tuesday the move is in retaliation for South Korea's decision to limit entry of people coming from China.

South Korea's government mandates PCR tests for travelers before and after arrival from China through the end of February. The policy is due to China's surging coronavirus cases. South Korea is also limiting its issuance of short-term visas through the end of this month.

China's Foreign Ministry had suggested it would take countermeasures against excessively tight entry restrictions by other countries.

A spokesperson for South Korea's Foreign Ministry told reporters that Seoul's antivirus measures are based on reviews that are scientific and objective.

The spokesperson added that South Korea shares relevant information on the coronavirus with the international community and communicates closely with China, while conveying the government's position.