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Huanqiu: Russian Border Guards Mistreated Chinese Citizens

Huanqiu (a.k.a. The Global Times), a Chinese state-run newspaper, reported that China’s Embassy to Russia posted an article on the open internet complaining that the Russian government had mistreated five Chinese citizens. There have been many previous incidents where Russian authorities treated Chinese citizens badly, but the Chinese government has always remained silent in the past.

The Huanqiu article said that the Chinese Embassy to Russia lodged a complaint with the Russian authorities on August 4, 2023, after five Chinese citizens were prevented from entering Russia via the Karauzek border checkpoint in Astrakhan Oblast. The individuals’ tourist visas were canceled and they were denied entry to the country. Upon receiving a distress call, the consular staff at the Chinese Embassy to Russia investigated the situation, consoled the affected individuals, and promptly contacted the Russian authorities to seek a resolution. The embassy requested that Russia facilitate the reapplication for visas and ensure the smooth entry of the affected individuals as per their initial request.

According to the article, the Chinese Embassy reviewed videos uploaded by the individuals on August 2 that showed the Russian border personnel questioning them for 4 hours. After reviewing the video, the Chinese Embassy took immediate action. Embassy staff met with Russian authorities, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Border Guard Service, and the Federal Security Service, to express concerns over the incident. The embassy criticized the “excessive and brutal enforcement actions” of the Russian border guards, which “seriously harmed the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.” They emphasized that such behavior was not in line with “the friendly relations between China and Russia or the increasing trend of friendly exchanges” between the two countries’ people. The embassy urged Russia to “thoroughly investigate the incident, take active measures to rectify the negative impact, and ensure that similar incidents do not occur in the future, while respecting and safeguarding the dignity and legitimate rights of Chinese citizens.”

The article stated that the reported reason for the detention was a discrepancy between the Chinese nationals’ intended destination within Russia and the destination that they had given on their visa applications.

Source: Huanqiu, August 4, 2023