Mar 26, 2020 - World

China to temporarily bar entry of foreigners to stop spread of coronavirus

Chinese President Xi Jinping visits the Academy of Military Medical Sciences in Beijing. Photo: Xinhua/Ju Peng via Getty Images

China will temporarily suspend entry for foreign nationals with visas or residence permits beginning at midnight on March 28 in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Thursday.

Why it matters: It's a sign that China, where the coronavirus outbreak originated, is seeking to curb the number of imported cases in order to stop its epidemic from flaring up again. Diplomatic visas will not be affected.

What they're saying:

"The suspension is a temporary measure that China is compelled to take in light of the outbreak situation and the practices of other countries. China will stay in close touch with all sides and properly handle personnel exchanges with the rest of the world under the special circumstances. The above-mentioned measures will be calibrated in light of the evolving situation and announced accordingly."
— Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The big picture: Chinese authorities introduced unprecedented measures in January in an effort to contain the coronavirus, including suspending all travel in and out of all cities in Hubei province like Wuhan — where the virus was first discovered — and preventing the province's 59 million people from leaving home.

  • On March 19, health officials reported no new coronavirus cases in a 24-hour period for the first time since the outbreak began.

Go deeper ... Timeline: The early days of China's coronavirus outbreak and cover-up

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China's travel ban could slow the U.S. tech product pipeline

Apple store in Shanghai. Photo: Qilai Shen/In Pictures/Getty Images Images

Now that the coronavirus seems to be under control in China while it spreads elsewhere, China has announced a fresh ban on foreigners coming into the country — a move that could further complicate life for U.S. tech firms that rely on that country for manufacturing.

Why it matters: Many companies — notably Apple, but also Google, Facebook, Fitbit, GoPro and others — design their hardware in the U.S. but manufacture it in China. Typically, new products require close collaboration between U.S. firms and their Chinese manufacturing partners.

No new coronavirus cases in Wuhan, China, where global pandemic began

Medical staff cheer before going into an ICU ward for coronavirus patients at the Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on Monday. Photo: STR/AFP via Getty Images

There were no new cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours in Hubei province, China, including the city of Wuhan, where COVID-19 was first discovered, per a post on the local health department's website Wednesday.

Why it matters: Chinese authorities introduced unprecedented measures in January in an effort to contain the virus, including suspending all travel in and out of all cities in Hubei province and preventing the province's 59 million people from leaving home.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 19, 2020 - Health

Beijing's coronavirus propaganda blitz goes global

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

As China begins to get its coronavirus outbreak under control, authorities are going on the offensive to rewrite the narrative that the global epidemic is Beijing's fault.

Why it matters: We're getting a glimpse of how China's formidable propaganda apparatus can obscure the truth and change narratives abroad, just as it can at home. The stakes are high — for the world and China's standing in it.

Go deeperArrowMar 11, 2020 - Health