February 17, 2020

Countries walk tightrope on restricting travel from China

Featuring Joshua Fitt

Source: The Straits Times

Journalist Charissa Yong

Amid the wave of travel advisories, suspended flights, evacuations and temporary travel bans affecting China as countries grapple to keep the coronavirus at bay, three countries have bucked the trend: Cambodia, Pakistan and Ethiopia.

Instead of repatriating Cambodians in China or imposing travel restrictions, Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen visited China in a public display of confidence and solidarity. He refused to wear a face mask and was the first foreign leader to shake hands with Chinese president Xi Jinping after the start of the outbreak, though his request to visit its epicentre of Wuhan in Hubei province was turned down.

Pakistan also repeatedly refused to evacuate its citizens trapped in Hubei, and resumed suspended flights two days after the Chinese foreign minister raised the issue of travel restrictions in a call with his Pakistani counterpart.

Read the full article and more in The Straits Times.

Authors

  • Joshua Fitt

    Research Assistant, Asia-Pacific Security Program

    Joshua Fitt is a Research Assistant for the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). He focuses on U.S. East Asian security strategy and...