China suspends visas for Japanese, South Koreans

Many countries are imposing tighter border controls on arrivals from China, where the coronavirus is running rampant. But authorities in Beijing are now going tit-for-tat. They have suspended the issuance of visas for citizens of South Korea and Japan.

Officials with the Chinese embassy in Tokyo said on Tuesday they will provide notification when the measure ends.

Earlier in the day, China's embassy in Seoul suspended the issuance of short-term visas for South Koreans.

Through February, South Korean authorities are mandating PCR tests for people travelling from China before and after they arrive. They are also limiting the issuance of short-term visas through the end of this month.

Seoul insists the measures are based on scientific and objective evidence.

South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lim Soo-suk said, "Our government keeps conveying our stance to the Chinese side through diplomatic channels, and we are in communication."

The Chinese and South Korean foreign ministers discussed the issue on Monday by phone. Officials in Beijing previously suggested they would respond if other countries imposed excessive border restrictions.