China media angry as more countries impose entry rules

STORY: Chinese state media have hit out at countries imposing COVID-19 entry restrictions on arrivals from China, calling them “discriminatory”.

State-run tabloid Global Times published an article late on Thursday that said, "The real intention is to sabotage China's three years of COVID-19 control efforts and attack the country's system."

It comes as South Korea and Malaysia on Friday joined the growing list of places to bring in new measures to tackle concerns over China’s surge in COVID-19 infections.

Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency Commissioner Jee Young-mee told a news briefing, tests will be required for all arrivals from the neighboring country, while short-term visas will be restricted for Chinese nationals until the end of January.

“Until the virus prevention situation is stabilized, it is necessary to refrain from short-term travel from China to South Korea for a while.”

Beijing abruptly walked back its zero-COVID policies in early December following an unprecedented flare-up of public anger, leading to a wave of infections across the nation.

Citing concerns over the scale of China's outbreak, doubt over its COVID statistics and fears over new variants emerging, countries such as the U.S., Italy, and India have slapped entry restrictions on its inbound travelers.

The situation doesn’t seem to have dampened the spirits of Chinese citizens who have lived under harsh controls and not been able to leave the country for almost three years now.

“I haven’t gone abroad to ski for such a long time. I’m a professional skier, so I really can’t wait to be able to go abroad and ski again.”

But the world's second-largest economy is expected to slow down further in the near term as factory workers and shoppers fall ill.

According to a Reuters poll on Friday, China's factory activity most likely cooled in December as rising infections began to affect production lines.