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Ecuador Suspends Visa Deal With China Due to ‘Worrying Increase in Migratory Flows’

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Ecuador temporarily stopped a visa agreement with China, citing “a worrying increase in migratory flows from” the Asian nation in recent months.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry of the South American nation said in a statement Tuesday that the arrivals either stayed “in an irregular immigration situation or would have left through irregular routes to other destinations in the Hemisphere.”

Some Chinese nationals have been crossing the U.S. border illegally after trekking north through Latin America, motivated by economic opportunities in the U.S. during a slowdown in China.

When asked about Ecuador potentially halting the visa agreement on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lin Jian said the deal “has played an important and positive role in promoting cross-border travel and practical cooperation in various fields.”

It added that Beijing “firmly opposes all forms of human smuggling.”

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