Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for January 31, 2023

Newsline: South Korean embassy in Beijing warns of PCR tests upon arrival

China plans to require all passengers on direct flights from South Korea to undergo a PCR test upon arrival, starting from Feb. 1, the South Korean embassy in Beijing said. Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said, “It is regrettable that individual countries persist on implementing discriminatory entry restrictions against China, to which China is firmly opposed and has reason to take reciprocal measures against.” (https://neuters.de/world/asia-pacific/skorea-considers-early-easing-covid-visa-curbs-travellers-china-yonhap-2023-01-31/) She was responding to a query about China mandating COVID test for inbound travellers from South Korea. South Korea’s foreign ministry said its quarantine measures were based on scientific grounds for people’s protection. “There should never be any restrictions based on factors other than quarantine, and we are also communicating with the Chinese side as necessary,” the ministry added in the transcript of a news briefing. The curbs have hit air traffic links, one airline official said.

Newsline: China’s diplomat condemns Czech president-elect’s Taiwan call

China’s diplomat condemned on Tuesday a phone call between Czech President-elect Petr Pavel and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen, saying he ignored Beijing’s repeated attempts at dissuasion. “Czech President-elect Pavel ignored China’s repeated attempts to dissuade him and our repeated representations,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning Mao told reporters. “He has persisted in stepping on China’s red line, seriously interfering in China’s domestic affairs and hurting the feelings of the Chinese people.” (https://neuters.de/world/china-slams-czech-president-elect-over-phone-call-with-taiwan-president-2023-01-31/) Monday’s call was a diplomatic breakthrough for the China-claimed island, which has no formal relations with Prague.In 2016, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump also spoke by phone with Tsai, setting off a storm of protest from Beijing.

Newsline: Sudan releases man found guilty of killing U.S. diplomat

A Sudanese man facing the death penalty in connection to the killing of an American diplomat in 2008 has been released, his brother told Reuters on Monday. Abdelraouf Abuzeid, who was found guilty in the killing of U.S. diplomat John Granville, was released by the country’s high court two years after a financial settlement was reached between the Sudanese government and Granville’s family, his brother said. The U.S. State Department said it was aware of reports of Abuzeid’s release. “Our embassy is engaging government officials to obtain more information. We call for full accountability for the murders of John Granville and his Sudanese colleague Abdelrahman Abbas Rahama,” a State Department spokesperson said. (https://neuters.de/world/sudan-releases-man-found-guilty-killing-us-diplomat-family-2023-01-30/) The spokesperson added that Abuzeid remains listed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by Washington. He has been so designated since 2013. Granville and Abdelrahman Abbas Rahama were both employees of the U.S. Agency for International Development. They were killed by gunmen in Khartoum in 2008.