Australia is in danger of losing a third of new Chinese students to foreign universities as tensions over the Morrison government’s extension of the coronavirus ­travel ban into a third week prompted the Chinese embassy to express “deep regret and dissatisfaction”.

The Prime Minister will review the ban weekly until the deadly disease is brought under control, despite mounting concerns from business groups and moves by Chinese airlines to push cancellations of flights to Australia until mid-June.

Coronavirus
Coronavirus

The Chinese embassy in Canberra last night expressed “deep regret and dissatisfaction” over the extension of the travel ban, saying China had taken “the most comprehensive and rigorous prevention and control measures” against the disease. “Only Australia and a small number of countries have taken such extreme measures, which are overreaction indeed,” the ­embassy said.

A major survey of Chinese students stranded in China by the travel ban has found nearly a third of them (32 per cent) would enrol in another country if they were prevented from studying in ­Australia in the first semester of this year.

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