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Hostels in southern China told to refuse guests from five Middle Eastern and Asian nations

Some hostel operators in Guangzhou said police have ordered them to turn away guests from five Asian and Middle East nations until mid next month.

Hostels in various parts of the city have confirmed to the South China Morning Post that local police asked them to turn away guests from Afghanistan, Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Pakistan starting from this week.

The 11th Pan-Pearl River Delta Regional Cooperation and Development Forum was being held in Guangzhou on Thursday and Friday, while the G20 leaders’ summit will be hosted in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou on September 4-5.

A person at the front desk of a hostel in Yuexiu district acknowledged the measure by referring to a written notice. “We were briefed in a meeting by our supervisor … local police asked us to turn down guests from these five countries until September 10, without giving any reason,” said the person, who did not want to be named.

Similar responses were given at other hostels in different parts of Guangzhou, with some saying the ban would run up to October.

However, the ban does not apply to five-star hotels like the Garden Hotel or White Swan, or even brand name budget hotels.

The ban has not been applied to hostels in other nearby cities including Foshan, Yiwu and Shenzhen.

Dr Peng Peng of the Guangzhou Academy of Social Sciences said the move was not announced to the public but was to reduce security risks at Guangzhou’s independent hostels.

The move also suggested officials might be concerned about security if some Western state leaders decided to visit Guangzhou after the summit, he added