China's U.S. embassy has begun accepting non-Chinese vaccine records

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BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing has started to accept vaccination records from people seeking to enter China who have been inoculated in the United States with COVID-19 shots made by U.S. drug makers.

Travellers who have had the Pfizer Inc-BioNTech shot or the Moderna Inc and Johnson & Johnson vaccines can submit proof as part of the documentation needed for entry into China, the Chinese embassy in Washington said in an April 16 statement.

The guidance suggests the beginnings of an easing in travel requirements.

The world's second-largest economy has yet to approve vaccines developed by non-Chinese drug makers for use domestically, although the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that China was planning to authorise the BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by July.

BioNTech's Chinese partner Fosun Pharma has sole marketing rights in Greater China and the German company partners with Pfizer in other parts of world.

Other Chinese embassies that accept non-Chinese vaccination records include the embassy in Iraq. It said in March it would accept any COVID-19 vaccine approved in Iraq, which has given the emergency-use nod to vaccines from China's Sinopharm and Britain's AstraZeneca.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said last month China was willing to hold talks with other countries over mutual recognition of the Chinese QR health code, which would contain a digital certificate of COVID-19 vaccination.

(Reporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)