China said Tuesday it plans to take countermeasures for COVID-19 entry restrictions targeting travelers from the Asian country announced by a number of nations, saying Beijing "firmly opposes" the practice of manipulating coronavirus control measures to achieve political goals.

Countries such as Japan, the United States, Britain and France have decided to strengthen border controls for visitors from China, requiring them to test negative for the virus, as cases surge in China following the easing of antivirus measures in December.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said at a press conference on Tuesday entry restriction measures only targeting China "lack scientific basis" and that Beijing will "take corresponding measures in accordance with the principle of reciprocity."

China is scheduled to reopen borders and abandon quarantine measures for foreign arrivals on Sunday, in a full departure from its strict "zero-COVID" policy that involved lockdowns and isolation measures at designated facilities. Beijing has also said outbound tourism for Chinese citizens will be resumed "in an orderly manner."

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning holds a press conference in Beijing on Jan. 3, 2023. (Kyodo)

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