China grants visa-free entry to citizens of France, Germany, and Italy

China grants visa-free entry to citizens of France, Germany, and Italy

In an attempt to boost post-pandemic tourism, China will temporarily waive the requirement for visas for nationals of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia to enter the second-largest economy in the world.

A spokesman for the foreign ministry announced on Friday that nationals of those nations entering China for business, tourism, visiting family and friends, or transiting for no more than 15 days will not require a visa between December 1 and November 30 of next year.

China has been trying to boost its tourism industry for the past several months, even reopening international flight routes, after three years of severe COVID-19 limitations that effectively closed its borders to the outside world.

In addition, the government wants to repair its image abroad following disagreements with numerous Western nations over a range of matters, including trade, human rights, COVID, and Taiwan.

Views of China were mostly negative, according to a recent Pew Research Centre survey conducted in 24 nations, with 67% of respondents expressing negative opinions.

More than half of those surveyed claimed that China ignored other people’s interests and meddled in other nations’ internal affairs.

On the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, Germany’s ambassador to China, Patricia Flor, stated, “This decision will facilitate travel to China for many German citizens to an unprecedented extent.”

“We hope that the Chinese government will implement the measures announced today for all EU member states,” she stated.

According to her, Chinese nationals may only enter Germany without a visa if all signatories to the European Schengen Agreement gave their approval.

A temporary visa exemption was announced, and the head of international commerce at the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) praised it as “an important signal that can boost both tourism and economic exchange.”

China extended its visa-free travel programme to 54 nations last month, including Norwegian nationals.

China removed the COVID test requirement for all incoming travellers in August. In July, it started allowing people of Brunei and Singapore to enter for 15 days without a visa.

Although they are recovering more slowly than domestic network services, international flights into and out of the nation have been increasing.

October saw the announcement by China’s aviation regulator that 16,680 weekly flights were anticipated between November and March, accounting for 71% of all passenger flights four years prior.

The European Chamber of Commerce in China added that the action would contribute to an increase in business confidence. It went on, “It is a positive that the authorities are taking steps to facilitate people-to-people exchanges.”

Topics #China #France #Germany #Italy #tourism #visa-free entry

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