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China will temporarily close its borders to foreign nationals, effective midnight Saturday, in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.
“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’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in a statement Thursday. “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 restriction will apply to foreigners holding visas or resident permits, and those with APEC Business Travel Cards.
Entry with diplomatic, service, courtesy or C visas will still be allowed, as well as entry for economic, trade, scientific or technological activities or those entering for emergency humanitarian needs.
President Trump banned travel from China in late January to slow the spread of the virus, and other European countries followed suit.
Hong Kong, too, effected a ban Wednesday on all non-residents from entering the island.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Communist Party have recently touted a dip in new coronavirus cases, claiming that any pop-ups of the virus have been “imported.”
Analysts like foreign affairs expert Gordon Chang say not to give much weight to the word of Chinese leadership.
"For China, the truth has always been a casualty," Chang told Fox News.
He added that Beijing has been pushing to send China back to work and show the world that China, under Xi’s leadership, has beaten coronavirus.
"It's inevitable that China will have another outbreak and it will be serious," Chang said. "Xi has been trying to get China back to work since the first week in February. He has these ambitions of China dominating the world... and he is willing to make sure it happens at the great cost of other people's lives."
Fox News' Barnini Chakraborti contributed to this report.