By SIMON KENT
Chinese Communist President Xi Jinping wants travelers to adopt a global QR code system to help determine their health status and travel “permissions” in a post-coronavirus pandemic travel reset.
During the virtual G20 summit on Saturday, Xi called for a coronavirus “global mechanism” which involves international recognition of health certificates in the form of QR codes to allow people to travel freely, according to state media.
The dictator says the system can be based on “nucleic acid testing results in the form of internationally accepted QR codes,” reported state news agency Xinhua.
“We need to further harmonise policies and standards and establish ‘fast tracks’ to facilitate the orderly flow of people,” he is quoted saying. “[We] hope more countries would participate.”
QR codes are bar codes that can be read by mobile phones that are a common tool of tracking and control in Communist China.
Under the scheme China has employed since February, users are issued a traffic-light style health code, with a green code allowing someone to travel freely, and an orange or red code indicating that they need to quarantine for up to two weeks.
The codes are based on a combination of big data and information submitted by the users themselves.
The leader of the Chinese Communist Party did not explain how the international scheme might work or if it would mirror the health code system which has been widely adopted in China.
The lack of detailed information has already been flagged by critics who see it is a piece of social engineeering.
In a tweet, the executive director of Human Rights Watch Kenneth Roth expressed caution over Xi’s proposal.
“An initial focus on health could easily become a Trojan Horse for broader political monitoring and exclusion,” he said.