The hit Chinese movie “War Wolf 2″ in 2017 made many Chinese people remember the phrase, “The Chinese Passport now doesn’t necessarily take you anywhere in the world, but it can pick you up from anywhere in the world and bring you home!” Today, four years later, the Chinese Embassy told Chinese citizens living abroad around the world that “non-essential, non-emergency, non-travel”, please do not go home.
Chinese Embassy asks citizens stranded abroad not to return home “non-essential, non-emergency”
A popular Chinese website in North America (huaren.us) has been circulating a hot post in the past few days – “I’d like to tell you about my parents’ experience of getting a red code on AA127 and not being able to return to China”. The post was sent out in the evening of Jan. 14, and as of the morning of Jan. 18, it has attracted more than 216,000 views and 908 follow-up posts.
The owner of the post said that her/his parents were supposed to fly to Shanghai on American Airlines flight AA127 on January 13, but the Chinese embassy did not issue them a green code in the end, citing “non-essential and not urgent” as the reason for the denial. Finally, the owner of the post wrote, “Two elderly people dragged their luggage through the airport and watched the plane leave.
The owner of the post explained that his parents were both on travel visas and had passed a double negative nucleic acid test and a serum antibody (IgM) test within 48 hours. The two had been stranded in the U.S. for a year because of the outbreak, and their visas in the U.S. expired the day after the plane took off.
According to the North American Chinese travel agency flychina.com, travelers traveling from the United States to China were denied a “Green health Code” for “non-essential, non-emergency” travel even after being tested double-negative for nucleic acid and IgM antibodies at the designated laboratory of the Chinese Embassy in the United States. “The website’s reservation staff told the U.S. The website’s reservation staff told Voice of America that people have been denied since last week. She suggested that if there is no urgency, don’t buy the tickets first to avoid unnecessary financial losses.
According to the website, on Jan. 10, there were several cases of health codes not being approved for AA127 flights from Dallas International Airport to Shanghai, again for reasons of “non-emergency, non-essential, no travel. According to incomplete statistics, about dozens of passengers failed to board the flight due to the red code. Earlier, flights from Seattle to Shanghai on Jan. 6 and Jan. 8 were also denied due to “non-emergency and non-essential”.
According to industry insiders, applications from travelers with student visas, work visas, and expired visas in the U.S. are now proceeding normally, while applications from travelers with permanent resident status and Type B (tourist/business/visiting family) visas have been failing to pass muster.
The road back to China is getting tougher for Chinese citizens
Since the global outbreak of the new crown epidemic, the road back to China for Chinese citizens stranded overseas has become increasingly difficult.
Since March 2020, the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. has instituted the requirement to fill out a WeChat international health code for return, upgraded the need for additional nucleic acid testing in September, and in November, instituted the requirement for double-negative nucleic acid testing with antibody testing, and on December 23, issued the requirement that double-negative testing can only be done in the city where the direct flight is approved, and must also be done from a laboratory recommended by the embassy or consulate.
On December 30, the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. issued another important notice strongly urging “non-essential, non-emergency, no travel”. The embassy’s notice also reminded that “we will consider many factors in deciding whether to issue a health code. Please consider your trip carefully to avoid financial and other losses.” The Chinese website mentions that this is supposedly the reason why the parents were refused to return to the country.
On January 10, 2021, the Chinese Embassy reiterated its call for Chinese citizens stranded overseas not to return home with a notice that reads, “In the face of a decision, it is necessary to settle small personal accounts, but also to settle large national accounts.
The Chinese Embassy’s notice does not specify what constitutes “urgent” or “necessary” travel. Instead, the notice gives examples of non-essential, non-urgent travel by some people. The notice says that some people “came to the U.S. from China for Christmas and asked to return immediately after the holiday”; some people entered the U.S. through countries such as Cambodia to give birth to their children during the epidemic in order to give them a foreign account, and then requested to return immediately after giving birth, stressing that the family was in poor financial condition and had no medical coverage in the U.S. “
However, Chinese online posts say that not all of the Chinese citizens waiting in the airport are like this. Among them “are the elderly, children, those who have sold their cars and surrendered their houses to return to China, and those who have come to the U.S. by connecting flights from other countries and are homeless in the U.S.” The posters said they understood that they did not want Chinese citizens to return because of the epidemic in China, but the embassy should not have given red codes to people at the airport only 10 minutes before the “gate” was closed.
The Chinese.com posters also mentioned one more detail. The stranded passengers were so angry that they decided to hold signs in protest, but when it came time to take pictures, many of them left in silence. As you can see from the photos posted online, those who had the courage to hold up their signs also chose to keep their faces out of the way. Those who posted said they did so because they were afraid and worried that their families at home would be implicated.
Do you need a reason to return home? Being advised not to go home is chilling
The owner of the post on Chinese.com concluded by protesting, “I think it should be the most basic right of a citizen to go back to his own country (I am not a law student, so please correct me if I misunderstood). No matter what your age, no matter what U.S. visa you have, no matter whether you have a green card or not, no matter what your reason for leaving the country, no matter what your reason for going back, the embassy should not deprive a citizen of the right to return to his country after meeting all the testing requirements promulgated by the embassy.”
A Chinese national who wished to remain in the United States for almost a year and who did not want to be named told Voice of America, “If it was my choice not to go back at this time, I would feel a little better. It feels a little chilling that the government is asking for this.”
Chinese passports to take you home
Among the many comments on the website, one mentioned “War Wolf 2,” which got Chinese blood boiling in 2017, and questioned, “Where is the Chinese passport that promised to take you home?”
War Wolf 2 tells the story of how a former Chinese soldier and a Chinese warship rescued Chinese workers caught in a rebellion in an African country. At the end of “War Wolf 2,” a Chinese passport appears on the screen with the phrase: “No matter what dangers you encounter overseas, please remember that you have a strong motherland behind you.”
However, the real Chinese passport does not have such a line on it. It also sparked controversy when it came out, but more Chinese felt the heat. Wu Jing, the director of the story, said in an interview with Chinese media that he wanted to convey just such a value: “When war and disaster come, it [the Chinese passport] can pick you up from any place and bring you home!”
Now, however, embassies block you from going home from any place.