Chinese Regime Prevents Expats in Indonesia From Returning to China

People wearing protective masks walk on a bridge in Jakarta, Indonesia, on June 17, 2021. (Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana/Reuters)
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BY ALEX WU

The Chinese regime is attempting to block expatriates from returning to China following a surge of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia.

The surge has reportedly been caused by the Delta variant that originated in India. Many people in Indonesia have been inoculated with Chinese-made vaccines, but have still become infected with the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes COVID-19.

After the Indonesian government announced more stringent pandemic-related restrictions, the Chinese Embassy in the country tightened its rules to prevent Chinese expats from returning to their native country. A large number of flights to China have been canceled, leaving more Chinese citizens stranded in the COVID-19-stricken country.

One Chinese man, who was in Indonesia for business, has revealed the difficulty of his journey back to China.

Zhang Liang (a pseudonym), the director of an electrical appliance company in Foshan, Guangdong Province, told the Chinese Epoch Times that he went to Indonesia on June 12 for a three-day business trip. However, he was sent to a five-day quarantine in a hotel right after he got off the plane in Indonesia. He rebooked his return flight to China for June 22 to Nanning, in Guangxi Province.

According to Zhang, it’s now required that two days before returning to China, people have to go to two hospitals designated by the airline for double virus testing. If the results meet requirements, they are then required to upload them to the Chinese Embassy’s website and submit various required information to obtain a green health QR code before boarding a flight to China.

Zhang was tested on June 20 and uploaded the results, applying for a green health code on June 21.

“Despite me submitting all the materials, I still received a red code, meaning that I could not return to China,” Zhang said.

On June 22, Zhang called the Chinese Embassy and got a response telling him that he must be quarantined in Indonesia for 14 days before he could return to China. He had to change his flight ticket to June 29.

On June 27, he did the double testing again and received qualified results on June 28. However, when he applied for the green health code, he still got a red code. The reason given to him by the embassy was that he should be retested a week later.

China has canceled flights from Indonesia to China.

“On June 27, they canceled three flights. As a result, more than 100 Chinese people were stranded at the airport that day. They were all miserable. The cancellation was so sudden. I was panicked at the time,” Zhang said.

Zhang called the Chinese Embassy again, asking why he couldn’t return to China. The answer provided by the embassy was that due to the COVID-19 surge in Indonesia, the embassy had tightened the policy for Chinese expats to return.

The check-in hall at the newly opened terminal 3 at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, on the outskirts of Jakarta, early on Aug. 9, 2016. (Bay Ismoyo/AFP/Getty Images)

Out of caution, Zhang rebooked on two flights: one for Nanning on July 6 and the other for Fuzhou on July 8—if one of the flights was canceled, he could still get on the other one. He was able to board the July 6 flight and is currently in a 21-day quarantine at a hotel in Nanning.

Zhang said that after returning to Foshan from Nanning, he will have to undergo isolation at home for seven days. It will be August when he can return to work normally. It will be two months from the start of the three-day business trip before he will be able to return to normal life. The flight bookings and quarantines cost him 46,000 yuan ($7,600). Luckily for him, it was paid for by his company, he said.

Zhang also revealed that the flight he took on July 6 turned out to be the last one allowed into China. From July 8, all flights into the country have been temporarily halted. It’s unknown when they’ll resume.

“The Chinese people stranded over there have little hope to come back home,” he said.

Despite the CCP virus originating in Wuhan, China, the communist regime has attempted to shift the blame for the outbreak, now blaming travelers for bringing variants of the virus into China.

During the outbreak in Wuhan last year and in India in late April, other countries were attempting to help their citizens return home. By contrast, China took measures to prevent Chinese expats and students studying abroad from returning to China.

Chinese citizens check in to their Air China flight to Beijing, at Los Angeles International Airport, on Feb. 2, 2020. (Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images)

The Chinese Embassy in the United States has published the CCP’s policy and a lengthy article to explain it on its official website in Chinese, calling on Chinese people currently overseas to not go back to China.

“Do not travel unless essential or urgent,” the article says.

Chinese expats were also encouraged to “build a steel great wall to prevent foreign import and domestic resurgence” of COVID-19. The website also directed expats to “think for the greater good for the country instead of personal well-being” on the website.

So far, Chinese vaccines haven’t been approved for use by the United States or the European Union, and are also excluded from the EU’s digital vaccination pass program. The regime has announced retaliatory measures, denying entry to travelers who haven’t been inoculated with Chinese vaccines and not recognizing vaccination with non-Chinese vaccines. The measures have prevented the return of many overseas Chinese citizens.

Gu Xiaohua and Li Jing contributed to the report.

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