A longer Visa-free list signifies how China’s gate is opening wider

BEIJING, Feb. 29, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A news report by China.org.cn on China’s visa-free policy:


A longer Visa-free list signifies how China’s gate is opening wider

The day after the Lunar New Year, a charter flight from Kuala Lumpur with 286 Malaysian passengers landed in Shenyang. Meanwhile, according to an online travel platform, flight bookings from China to Kuala Lumpur during the Spring Festival holiday increased 20-fold compared with last year. Netizens commented that the people of China and Malaysia are “switching celebration venues” by spending the holiday in each other’s countries.

Behind the travel spree, improved visa policies are a significant impetus. Since last year, China has implemented a visa-free policy for France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, and reached mutual visa exemption agreements with Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Facilitated by the policies, Chinese tourists’ travel bookings to the latter three countries increased by over 30% compared to 2019, while bookings from all the mentioned countries to China doubled against 2019.

A longer list of unilateral visa-free and mutual visa exemption countries proves that China is opening its gate wider and wider.

If we view things historically, this point becomes even more loud and clear. China used to adopt a rather serious set of visa policies. Later, China gradually began to lower visa thresholds with the tide of globalization. Since 2013, the pace has stepped up. In 2018, a policy that grants visa-free entry to citizens from 59 countries came into effect in Hainan, as the first privilege policy for the Hainan Pilot Free Trade Zone, and more importantly, a pilot for similar policies to be rolled out nationwide. By now, China has reached mutual exemption agreements with 157 countries covering different passport types, and enjoys comprehensive mutual visa exemption with 23 countries.

Besides friendlier visa policies, improvements are also being made in various sectors. For example, the China Railway authority has launched online verification services for foreign passport holders; and the People’s Bank of China has guided the relevant organizations to upgrade payment services for expats and tourists in China. Ameliorations can be seen in various services concerning foreigners’ investment, entrepreneurship, tourism and education in the country.

During the past Chinese New Year holiday, more stories were witnessed. A Chinese Singaporean made a spontaneous visit to her Chinese relatives; there was also a French traveler who planned to visit Beijing, but asked her Chinese travel agency to customize her itinerary because she was mesmerized by the ice sculpture version of the “Notre Dame” in Harbin. Visa-free policies as the first step in deepening friendly exchanges and reciprocal collaborations have drawn China and other countries nearer. What’s more, improved convenience in systems and services at the disposal of tourists and business people, are also examples of how China is advancing its high-level opening-up, and further driving international communication and collaboration.

As China’s “friend circle” expands with its visa exemption list, a new spring for the interaction between people from China and other parts of the world will surely be ushered in.

China Mosaic
http://chinamosaic.china.com.cn/index.htm
A longer Visa-free list signifies how China’s gate is opening wider
http://www.china.org.cn/video/2024-02/29/content_117027626.htm