China trials visa-free travel for six countries

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People visit the Great Wall of Badaling in Beijing, ChinaIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
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Currently, most travellers need a visa to enter China

China is trialling visa-free travel for citizens from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia for a year, its foreign ministry said.

From December to 30 November 2024, ordinary passport holders from these countries can do business or travel in China without a visa for up to 15 days.

This is to help “promote China’s high-quality development and opening up”, spokeswoman Mao Ning said on Friday.

Currently, most travellers need a visa to enter China.

The rare examples of those exempt include citizens of Singapore and Brunei, who are entering China for business, tourism, family visits and transit for no more than 15 days.

It was only in March that China began issuing all types of visas again, for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic broke out in December 2019.

Tens of millions of international visitors came to China each year prior to the pandemic.

For three years, China imposed some of the world’s strictest Covid curbs, with travel restrictions, numerous lockdowns and frequent testing requirements.

Its zero-Covid policy, which hit the economy hard, was only lifted last December.

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