China’s strict “zero-COVID” policy forced many foreigners to leave, and even more are reluctant to work there. As a result, foreign companies, embassies, and consulates in China find it difficult to recruit people.

Since March 2020, China’s borders have been closed to most foreigners, and flights to China are still scarce and expensive. 

COVID restrictions remain tight in China at present and according to Goldman Sachs, China will find it difficult to reopen until mid-2023. In addition, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China does not expect a full reopening until at least the second half of next year.

On the other hand, the Chinese regime’s relations with many western countries have deteriorated in recent years. In addition, discrimination against foreigners has damaged China’s image.

Many foreigners have long left China, and few are willing to travel to China for work.

Jörg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, estimated in May that about 50% of European expatriates had fled China since the pandemic began.

The British Chamber of Commerce in China estimates that as many as 60% of foreign teachers will leave this year.

The embassies and consulates in China are also short of staff. The Wall Street Journal reported that in April, the U.S. State Department ordered government employees and family members to leave as cases of the virus surged in Shanghai.
Nicholas Burns, the U.S. ambassador to China, said working in China can be very challenging with the zero-COVID policy and fears of spreading the pandemic.

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