(Bloomberg) -- Ecuador temporarily stopped a visa agreement with China, citing “a worrying increase in migratory flows from” the Asian nation in recent months.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry of the South American nation said in a statement Tuesday that the arrivals either stayed “in an irregular immigration situation or would have left through irregular routes to other destinations in the Hemisphere.”

Some Chinese nationals have been crossing the US border illegally after trekking north through Latin America, motivated by economic opportunities in the US during a slowdown in China.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lin Jian said Wednesday at a regular press briefing in Beijing that the visa agreement with Ecuador “has played a positive role in bilateral personnel exchanges and cooperation in various fields.”

(Updates with response from China.)

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