Despite revealing that they may permit students from ASEAN countries studying in Chinese universities to come back early after the summit of China-ASEAN countries, China continues to be vague about the return of Indian students. There are about 23000 Indian students stuck at home since last year because of Beijing's visa curbs related to COVID-19.
When asked whether Beijing would also permit students from Indian and South Asian countries, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that China would consider allowing foreign students to return in a coordinated manner.
ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. "The Chinese government always attaches high importance to the issue of foreign students coming to China for their studies. On the basis of ensuring safety amid COVID-19, we will consider in a coordinated manner an arrangement for allowing foreign students to return to China for their studies. At the same time, I stress again that in light of the evolving epidemic situation, China will decide on prevention and control measures in a coordinated way based on scientific analysis," he said.
China stopped issuing visas to Indians last year. No flights are in operation between the two neighbouring countries, and over 23,000 Indian students, hundreds of Indian businessmen and their families are stranded back home. Most students are pursuing medicine in Chinese colleges.