China on Tuesday said it is “confident” that the first batch of Indian students stuck back home due to the Covid-19 is a restrictions here would return in the “near future”, raising hopes for thousands of students waiting to re-join their colleges in this country.
“The Chinese side has been working intensively for the return of foreign students to China," Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing here when asked about social media posts by some Chinese diplomats about the opening of a new visa policy for all the foreign students soon.
“The process has begun for Indian and other foreign students to return to China to resume their studies. The departments responsible for this matter from both sides will continue their close communication on this," he said.
“We are confident in seeing the return of the first group of Indian students in the near future. Building on that, the Chinese side will further proceed with the return of other Indian students in a well thought-out and orderly manner," he said in updated comments posted on the foreign ministry website.
Asked at what stage is the process of the list provided by the Indian Embassy here about the Indian students wanting to return, he said “we kindly ask for your patience. There will be timely updates on that”.
Over 23,000 Indian students, mostly studying medicine, are reportedly stuck back home due to Covid-19 visa restrictions. India has submitted a list of several hundred students after China sought the names of those wanting to return immediately to pursue their studies. Some students from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Russia and several other countries arrived on chartered flights in recent weeks.
China is also permitting flights from different countries but has yet to work out the opening of flights between the two countries. The flights between India and China which were halted at the height of the coronavirus pandemic two years ago remain suspended. Officials say the two countries are in talks to restore limited flights.