Foreign nationals in China have been well protected by the country's effective epidemic prevention and control measures, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said Wednesday, urging the United States to think carefully about the so-called 'authorized departure' of its diplomats.
According to media reports, the U.S. Embassy in China is waiting for government approval to evacuate diplomats and dependents because of the implementation of strict pandemic regulations in the country.
In response, spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a news briefing that China's epidemic prevention and control protocols are rigorous and science-based, and are in line with provisions in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
"Our effective measures have well protected foreign nationals in China," Zhao said. "We have made diplomatic and consular staff in China feel comfortable and protected their legitimate rights and interests."
Noting that China is undoubtedly the safest country at present, Zhao said evacuating from the safest place in the world will only expose U.S. personnel to much greater risks of infection. "The logic behind the U.S. decision is confusing and hardly justifiable."
China has expressed grave concern and dissatisfaction over this to the U.S. side, according to Zhao.
"We hope the United States can observe China's COVID-19 protocols, take China's position and concerns seriously, and think carefully about the so-called 'authorized departure' of diplomatic and consular staff," he added.