15:17 GMT18 January 2021
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    Tensions between India and China have soared due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which is believed to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, while deadly conflict on the India-Chinese border in June has only made things worse.

    After suspending flights to and fro from China in the wake of the pandemic, India's Ministry of Civil Aviation has revealed that airlines have been instructed to block Chinese nationals from boarding flights to the country, India Today Television reported on Monday.

    Citing anonymous sources, the Indian media reported that the directive has been circulated as an unofficial notice from the central government.

    Earlier in November, China restricted the entry of Indian passengers due to the pandemic.

    At the time, India's Ministry of External Affairs said that the government was in touch with Beijing to facilitate essential travel of Indians in and out of China.

    The fact that the Indian government has not officially blacklisted Chinese nationals has caused confusion among airlines, India Today added. The exact reason for India's alleged move also remains unclear. 

    Relations between the two nations have been strained since conflict erupted along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in April, when they accused each other of violating border agreements.

    Ties between the neighbouring nations tanked further in June, when 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the Galwan Valley during a skirmish with Chinese border guards. India banned over 200 Chinese apps and restricted Sino Tech firms from participating in its 5G trials as a result. 

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