Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn A lone traveler at Beijing Daxing International Airport, November 2020. Credit: Mark Schiefelbein/AP Photo For the last sixteen months, the world’s most populous country has kept its borders almost entirely closed. Visitors can usually enter China only for specific “business” purposes, and if they have received a Chinese vaccine. Students, non-essential workers, and family members have seen their visas rejected. Those who get approval must submit to a hotel quarantine lasting 14 to 21 days — plus humiliating, medically unnecessary, weekly anal swabs. Unsurprisingly, the flow of foreign visitors has slowed to a trickle. China’s State Council reportedly plans to start reopening its borders in the second half of 2022. But this timeline is not credible. Covid-19 likely cannot ever be eradicated globally. And while China’s vaccine rollout has been extraordinary, Chinese vaccines barely work against the Delta variant, which is now dominant around the world. Reopening borders next year would therefore mean telling the Chinese people to tolerate infections and outbreaks after Subscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.