China has issued visas to over 18,000 Indians in the last three months, a Chinese diplomat said.
Interacting with a group of journalists in Kolkata, Minister Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in India, Chen Jianjun, said he was looking forward to more Chinese being given visas by India.
“The number of visa applications for China has been on the rise. Since January, we have given visas to 18,560 Indians,” he said.
“Since August, 9,409 student visas have been issued to Indian students,” he said.
However, Jianjun said, the number of visa applications is yet to reach the pre-pandemic levels.
In June last year, China announced plans to provide visas to Indian professionals and their families stranded in India following the strict restrictions imposed by Beijing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Separately, it also started processing visa applications of thousands of Indian students studying in Chinese universities who conveyed their interest to rejoin their colleges and universities. About 23,000 Indian students, mostly studying medicine were stranded back home due to the restrictions.
Jianjun said China was working with India for an early resumption of direct flights between the two countries.
Flight services between the two countries have been disrupted ever since coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan in late 2019 and spread across the world.
The flight disruption turned out to be a major problem for hundreds of Indian students as well as families of Indians working in China and businessmen to travel back and forth.
Indians are currently travelling to China through Sri Lanka, Nepal and Myanmar, and some other countries, shelling out an exorbitant amount of money on steep airfares.
Jianjun also said that his country was looking forward to a more fair and friendly business environment in India.