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Beijing offers to fly Chinese students home from the US
Published on: 2020-04-07
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Workers guide an airplane while standing on the tarmac at John F Kennedy International Airport in New York on March 11Workers guide an airplane while standing on the tarmac at John F Kennedy International Airport in New York on March 11

Chinese students could be flown home from coronavirus hotspots such as the United States but will have to pay their own expenses, amid efforts by Beijing to persuade some to remain overseas rather than risk bringing the infection with them.
 

A statement posted on the website of China’s Washington embassy on Monday said that the Chinese government was aware that many school and university students had encountered difficulties in travelling back to China and was taking steps to arrange charter flights for those who needed to return urgently.

China has drastically cut flights to try to prevent people who arrive from abroad importing the coronavirusChina has drastically cut flights to try to prevent people who arrive from abroad importing the coronavirus

With the initial coronavirus outbreak appearing to have been largely contained in mainland China, some Chinese students have travelled home despite soaring air ticket prices and the requirement that those who have been overseas enter quarantine.
 

More than 1.6 million Chinese are studying overseas, including about 410,000 in the US. At least 1.42 million Chinese students remained overseas, vice foreign minister Ma Zhaoxu said on Thursday.
 

Having initially boasted of its success in stopping the virus, Beijing has become notably cautious in recent weeks about welcoming overseas students back home, especially with imported cases continuing to rise.
 

China’s foreign ministry and its overseas missions have urged students considering travelling home to exercise caution. The embassy in the US issued a notice on Friday speaking highly of the American medical system and its response to the pandemic, in a marked departure from Beijing’s narrative, which has included pinning the blame for the pandemic on the United States.
 

Friday’s embassy notice also dismissed rumours that Chinese students had been targeted because of the coronavirus during the closures of universities, and pledged help if students had trouble communicating with universities about campus accommodation.

A man wears a mask to prevent exposure to the coronavirus disease COVID 19 while walking past the New York Stock Exchange in New YorkA man wears a mask to prevent exposure to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while walking past the New York Stock Exchange in New York

Students under 18 years of age who want to return to China are required by the embassy to register online.
 

The initial evacuation plan announced on Monday proposed to prioritise school-age children whose parents were not in the US with them. The proposed arrangement appeared to include students from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
 

中国驻美国使馆摸底调查,将优先安排小留学生乘机回国

中国驻美使馆于4月5日发布“关于就搭乘临时包机意愿进行摸底调查的通知”后,正认真收集报名信息,并抓紧与国内主管部门及航空公司等对接,配合做好组织临时航班接回确有困难留学人员工作。
 

同时,考虑到航班数量有限,建议广大留学人员仍要根据美国疾病控制中心(CDC)、当地卫生部门等建议,减少流动,以做好自身防护为重点。  
 

根据国内有关规定和要求,以下人员暂不列入搭乘临时航班范围:

一、确诊病例、疑似病例、有发热等症状者、密切接触者等人员。
二、有家长陪伴的未成年留学生。
三、公派留学生和访问学者。
四、驻美使领馆任何外交官及家属(无论是否未成年)、在外留学的外交系统人员。
 

中国驻美使馆将会同各总领馆,本着公开、透明、公平原则,按照国内要求和标准梳理乘客名单,也请广大留学人员及家长积极配合。

驻美国使馆专线电话:
 

+1-202-495-2216(领事保护与协助电话)
+1-202-830-9551(涉疫情协助热线)
+1-202-848-4007(涉疫情协助热线)

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