The embassy of China in India has not issued any visas to Indians since November last year.
Vikram Misri, India’s Ambassador to China has said that the travel of students, businesspersons, marine crew, exporters and others as well as stranded family members to China are humanitarian issues not connected to bilateral diplomacy. Hence this would require a more balanced and sensitive approach instead of the unscientific approach adopted by the Chinese authorities, he said.
India has been issuing visas to Chinese businessmen to visit India, despite the current political differences.
Many of the 23,000 Indian students studying in Chinese universities are stranded in India. Medical students fear that online programmes by their universities will not suffice for hands-on practical classes.
The Embassy of China in India has not provided even Chinese nationals in India with health codes, required to board flights to China. This effectively makes many Chinese unable to return home, not being able to see their children or visit sick relatives for more than a year now. Some such split families are meeting in different countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the UAE.
However, India has continued issuing visas to Chinese citizens who wanted to visit their families in India, though they apprehend they might not be able to return home. India has also started issuing visas to businesspersons from China to travel to India.
China has not provided any timeline for opening up to travellers from India. The opening up of borders even for students and businesses can act as a trigger for both the economies and become an aid for the already ailing tourism industry.
(With Inputs from The Hindu)