Officials said on Friday that China's optimized immigration policies are accelerating the recovery of cross-border business and exchanges, and refuted groundless criticism of the nation's anti-epidemic achievements.
Since the optimized immigration management policy took effect on Jan 8, the number of people entering and leaving the country has shown steady growth and orderly recovery, Liu Haitao, director-general of the Department of Frontier Inspection and Management of the National Immigration Administration, said at a news conference in Beijing.
From Jan 8 to 12, immigration authorities nationwide dealt with 490,000 people entering and leaving the country each day, up 48.9 percent before the implementation of the new policies.
Liu said that with the approach of the Spring Festival holiday, and the consequent rise in the number of people entering and leaving the country, the administration has taken steps to ensure that Chinese citizens queue for customs clearance for no more than 30 minutes.
In addition, work related to visa applications and travel endorsement applications to visit Hong Kong and Macao has been restored, and there has been a sharp increase in the number of related applications.
"Recently, some countries have imposed restrictions on Chinese travelers. We also remind people to know the entry policies of relevant countries in advance, and make reasonable travel arrangements in order to avoid inconvenience and unnecessary losses," he said.
Kong Fanwei, deputy director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China's flight standards department, said at the news conference that the CAAC has also actively adjusted industry-related policies based on the actual situation, such as the number of flights, routes and load factors, to ensure the steady resumption of international passenger flights, and international flights are on the rise.
According to Kong, the number of pre-planned international passenger flights this week was 563, with flights to 63 countries, returning to 6 percent and 87.5 percent of pre-pandemic levels, respectively.
"In the coming period, with further increased demand in the international aviation market, it is expected that international air transport will continue to maintain a steady recovery," Kong said.
Meanwhile, Mi Feng, a spokesman for the National Health Commission, refuted false reports that spread misinformation about China's work in fighting the epidemic.
Mi said China took firm public health intervention measures against the original virulent strain in the early days of the outbreak, winning precious time for the international community to fight the epidemic.
"China has actively shared epidemic information and provided a scientific basis for the international community's epidemic prevention and control, as well as research and development of vaccines and testing reagents," he said.
He said that China has shared its experience without reservation. It has provided hundreds of billions of anti-epidemic supplies to 153 countries and 15 international organizations, and jointly held more than 300 epidemic prevention and control and medical treatment meetings with more than 180 countries and regions and more than 10 international organizations. China has also sent 37 medical teams to 34 countries and supplied more than 2.2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organizations.
"The accusations made by certain countries against China are totally unscientific and groundless," said Wu Xi, director of the department of consular affairs of the Foreign Ministry.
Since the start of the pandemic, China has been sharing relevant information and data with the international community in an open, transparent and responsible manner, including genetic data on recent COVID-19 infections in China, she said.
According to a report released by the World Health Organization on Jan 4, genetic data provided by the National Health Commission showed that the current virus strain in China is consistent with the genetic sequence of the virus in Chinese passengers submitted by other countries, and no new variants or significant mutations have been found.