Chinese Media Roundup: Ebola Edition

Choson Exchange has been speaking to people in both the PRC and the DPRK, trying to figure out exactly how far and wide the application of this Ebola travel ban and quarantine is. There has still been some confusion this week, with some claims that Chinese businesspeople can visit and avoid quarantine, while others note that "even guys who live in Yanji and go to Rason all the time cannot visit". One person we spoke with speculated that pre-existing multiple entry visas are being honored, without quarantine requirements, while any new visa holders would be subject to a 21-day isolation period, which essentially acts as a travel ban. 

We turned to the Chinese media to see what information is being promulgated publicly:

This article in Xinhua from the 31st of October notes that "the North Korean Non-permanent National Emergency Epidemic Prevention Committee spoke to diplomatic missions in North Korea at midnight, informing that in order to prevent the spread of Ebola virus, the Committee will take emergency measures and require all foreign citizens entering from other countries to receive a 21-day quarantine and medical observation from health officials." The article crucially notes that "all" (所有) foreigners are subject to the rule and mentions no exceptions for Chinese citizens.

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Xinhua also ran this dandy image (http://news.xinhuanet.com/photo/ttgg/2014-10/27/c_127146437.htm) from earlier last week.

Then last weekend, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a "Reminder of Entry Requirements" notice that "the consular department reminds Chinese citizens who are heading to North Korea to pay attention to the entry requirements in North Korea, and arrange plans properly according to actual demands."

Not fantastically helpful and a week later, it's still not clear if exemptions have been made in the last week or who can get them. Trucks apparently still go back and forth across the PRC-DPRK border, however, so someone is making sure trade isn't completely choked off.

Translation and Research by Wang Xingyu.