Relieved students return to China as COVID policies end

With China all but abandoning its ‘zero COVID’ health policy of lockdowns and travel bans, a number of countries have responded by restricting travel from China or imposing entry requirements. Morocco has arguably taken the most aggressive response, blocking all incoming travel from China since 3 January. Despite this, a key segment of the kingdom’s population is benefiting from the end of lockdown: the growing number of Moroccans heading to China to start or complete their studies, writes Austin Bodetti for Middle East Eye.

Mohamed Amine Akhayat, a 21-year-old from Casablanca studying computer science at Hangzhou Dianzi University, arrived in China in December. He had been waiting to go back since 2020, when a Chinese travel ban stranded him in Morocco during his winter break, a situation familiar to many of China’s Moroccan students.

Back in the Chinese city of Hangzhou after almost three years, Akhayat said he felt anxiety, excitement and relief. “COVID has affected people of all ages and countries, but foreign students in China have been affected the most academically,” Akhayat told Middle East Eye.
Full report on the Middle East Eye site