Severing the Belt and Road: Overseas Chinese Networks and COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

Sung Eun Kim, Adrian J. Shin, Yujeong Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world have imposed a wide variety of entry restrictions on international travel. Historical cases illustrate that public health concerns based on entrenched prejudices toward immigrant communities have led to restrictive measures against migration from foreign countries. Using our new dataset, COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Categories, we examine whether Chinese migrant networks around the world have driven government decisions to bar the entry of Chinese nationals and travelers from China in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our survival analysis of China-specific travel restrictions from January to March 2020 shows that not all Chinese migrant networks were important determinants. We find that entry bans on travel from China emerged more quickly in countries where a large number of temporary Chinese migrants work in clustered sites of Chinese contracted projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberorac038
JournalForeign Policy Analysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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