Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for January 11, 2023

Newsline: China’s ambassador to Moscow says Beijing ready for travel resumption with Russia

Russia and China are ready to resume mutual travel as soon as possible and deepen their strategic cooperation, Zhang Hanhui, China’s ambassador to Russia told the Russian state TASS news agency in remarks published on Wednesday. “In the new historical conditions, we are ready, together with our Russian friends, to continuously deepen comprehensive strategic cooperation, restore mutual travel of citizens as soon as possible,” the agency cited the diplomat as saying. (https://neuters.de/world/china/russia-china-ready-quick-travel-resumption-tass-cites-chinese-envoy-2023-01-11/) China has ditched mandatory quarantines for arrivals and allowed travel to resume across its border with Hong Kong since Sunday, removing the last major restrictions under a “zero-COVID” regime which it abruptly began dismantling in early December after historic protests against the curbs.

Newsline: South Korean top diplomat calls China’s visa suspension ‘deeply regrettable’

China’s recent decision to suspend the issue of short-term visas in South Korea was “deeply regrettable”, the South’s Foreign Minister Park Jin said on Wednesday. “It’s deeply regrettable China took such a countermeasure by entirely suspending issuance of short-term visas,” Park told a news briefing, adding that South Korea still issues visas to Chinese visitors for urgent business or humanitarian purposes. (https://neuters.de/world/asia-pacific/south-korea-calls-chinas-visa-suspension-deeply-regrettable-2023-01-11/) Tuesday’s suspension by the Chinese embassy in South Korea was China’s first retaliatory move against countries imposing COVID-19 curbs on its travellers. Last week, South Korea ordered a PCR test for travellers arriving from China, joining a growing list of nations adopting border curbs amid concern over infections, after China abruptly ended its stringent “zero-COVID” policy.

Newsline: Italy’s top diplomat says Bolsonaro did not seek Italian citizenship

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has not requested Italian citizenship and probably would not get it even if he applied, Italy’s top diplomat said. Bolsonaro flew to the United States at the end of last year, 48 hours before his term ended. He is under investigation in at least four criminal probes back home and Brazilian media have reported that he was seeking Italian citizenship. But Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani denied this. “He hasn’t asked for it and I don’t believe he can have it, as far as I’m concerned,” Tajani told Italian radio. (https://news.yahoo.com/bolsonaro-did-not-seek-italian-115715454.html) Under Italian law, people can claim nationality if they can prove they had Italian ancestors, without any generational limits. But criminal records are taken into consideration when applications are filed. Bolsonaro’s great-grandfather was born in Anguillara in north-east Italy, making the ex-Brazilian president and his children eligible for citizenship. Italy’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed that two of Bolsonaro’s four sons, Edoardo and Flavio, had requested citizenship in 2020. Their request is still being processed. Italian consulates in countries where applications are presented deal with the request and are expected to process the paperwork within 24 months. However, a diplomatic source said Italy’s consulates in Brazil had been inundated with applications, meaning it would likely take years before hopefuls received an Italian passport.