8th February 2021
Ministry of Foreign Affairs China,
On February 2nd 2021,Ministry of Foreign affairs of China held a press conference during which the spokesperson Wang Wenbin answered some questions from Prasar Bharati concerning international students stuck outside China.
MFA Spokesperson Wang Wenbin:
“I would like to recap our position, First, as the COVID-19 situation remains severe, all countries are taking prevention and containment measures based on their own conditions, This is to protect the safety and health of all citizens, including students. I’m sure everyone will understand this.”https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwfw_665399/s2510_665401/2511_665403/t1850611.shtml
We believe the spokesperson of MFA Wang Wenbin is missing our point which is that online education is not working out for students and is doing more harm than good as a result urgent action need to be taken. In light of the above, students should return in a stepwise process using the same epidemic control measures in place for business and work visa holders. As cross border exchange should be a priority as MFA China has highlighted repeatedly in their campaigns.
Secondly MFA Spokesperson Wang WenBin said:
“Second, we hope the international community will strengthen anti-epidemic cooperation to win the fight as soon as possible so that students can return to campus sooner rather than later.”https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwfw_665399/s2510_665401/2511_665403/t1850611.shtml
It’s a good thing the international community strengthen anti-epidemic cooperation but on behalf of students outside China who have been unable to return to their schools for nearly a year, we ask that education be prioritized as COVID-19 has the potential of not vanishing anytime soon.
Additionally, many countries have adapted to deal with the pandemic to ensure that education does not come to a standstill. So safe measures can be taken to show that education doesn’t need to cease and can be controlled and monitored through preventative measures and regular testing on campus.
Thirdly MFA spokesperson Wang Wenbin Said:
“Third, on the precondition of observing containment protocols, the Chinese authorities will study in a coordinated manner the matter of allowing foreign students to come back for their studies and maintain communication with relevant parties. I’ll refer you to the competent department for more details” https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwfw_665399/s2510_665401/2511_665403/t1850611.shtml
We assume that the relevant parties that the MFA Spokesperson is referring to is our universities perhaps, however this has been taking place for nearly a year and there is not much our schools can do in order to solve the issue of online medical degree validation, internships and lab work.
Countries are taking measures for prevention of COVID-19 just as China is doing by conducting safe arrival testing and quarantine of workers and businessmen, surely the same procedures that allowed 42 million passengers to arrive at Guangzhou Airport in 2020 alone could be extended to <500,000 students.
Thanks for your understanding, we are looking forward to a reasonable response and outcome.
China International Student Union
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