China to permit ‘some’ Indian students to return: Chinese foreign ministry

The Indian Embassy has directed eligible Indian students to provide the necessary information by filling up a Google Form by 8 May, 2022

China to permit Indian students to return: Chinese foreign ministry

Representational image. AFP

The Chinese side has expressed its willingness to consider facilitating the return of Indian students to China on a need-assessed basis, said the Indian Embassy in China on Friday.

This comes after the meeting of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with the State Councilor and Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi on 25 March.

Notably, the Indian students pursuing medicine from Chinese Universities are unable to return to China to attend classes. In order to facilitate this, the Indian Embassy intends to prepare a list of such students which will be shared with the Chinese side for their consideration, said the Embassy in its statement.

The Embassy also directed the Indian students to provide the necessary information by filling up a Google Form by 8 May, 2022.

“Once the collated information is shared with the Chinese side, they would consult relevant Chinese departments to verify the list and indicate whether the identified students can travel to China to complete the course. This coordination process would be carried out in a time-bound manner,” read the statement.

As per the Embassy, the Chinese side has also conveyed that eligible students should unconditionally abide by the COVID-19 prevention measures, and has agreed to bear all expenses related to COVID-19 prevention measures by themselves.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing in Beijing on Friday that China attaches high importance to Indian students’ concerns about returning to China for studies. “We have shared with the Indian sides the procedures and experience of other countries’ students returning to China.”

Actually, the work for Indian students’ return has already been started. All that remains to be done is for the Indian side to provide the list of students “who really need to come back” to China, he said.

As per earlier reports, over 23,000 Indian students, mostly studying medicine in Chinese colleges, are stuck in India after they returned home as the coronavirus broke out in China in December 2019. They could not return to China due to the restrictions imposed by the Chinese government to arrest the spread of the contagion.

The MEA on Thursday said it has been regularly raising the issue of Indian students pursuing medicine from Chinese Universities being unable to return to China to attend classes, but has not gotten any positive response from the other side.

The remarks were made by MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi in response to questions citing reports according to which China is facilitating the return of students from countries like Sri Lanka.

“I have seen some reports, but I don’t want to speculate here that some students are going back. We are concerned about students in India and on that, we don’t have any movement yet… so if the Chinese are looking at options on how they can get students in, I sincerely hope, that Indian students would also benefit from that mechanism,” Bagchi said.

“As regards the issue of students, yes, this is something which has come up a couple of times. We have discussed, I think even on this forum we have responded. During the visit of Chinese FM Wang Yi, I think the EAM himself mentioned that we had taken it up,” the MEA spokesperson added.

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