IRSA: China expands visa-free policy to deepen international exchanges and cooperation

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New York, July 01, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — According to International Relations Study Association(IRSA), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China officially announced on June 27 that it will implement a visa-free policy for citizens of Australia, New Zealand and Poland from July 1, which will last until the end of 2025. The move marks the further deepening of China’s relations with these countries. According to the policy, travelers from these three countries will enjoy visa-free entry into China and can stay in the country for up to 15 days, during which they can use it for business travel, sightseeing or visiting friends and relatives.

 

Determination to open up

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Starting from 2023, China has initiated a series of visa policy adjustments, taking the lead in piloting a unilateral visa-free policy for citizens holding ordinary passports from six countries, namely France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia, as well as Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg. In addition, since 2024, China has signed or extended agreements on mutual visa exemption policies with Singapore, Antigua and Barbuda, Thailand, Malaysia and other countries. These initiatives aim to further promote international exchanges and cooperation and provide citizens of all countries with a more convenient entry and exit experience.

 

Meanwhile, in order to further expand high-level opening up, China has simultaneously implemented a number of initiatives to promote multilateral people-to-people exchanges.

 

Since October 2023, China has opened a 72/144-hour visa-free transit policy for 54 countries.

Since January 11, 2024, China has introduced five measures to facilitate the entry of foreigners to China, including simplifying the procedures for submitting visa application materials and relaxing visa requirements at border crossings.

On May 15, 2024, the National Immigration Administration issued a new policy allowing foreign tour groups traveling on cruise ships organized and received by domestic travel agencies to enter the country as a whole group without visa from the cruise ports in 13 cities and stay for 15 days.

 

China’s series of initiatives to open up to the outside world are aimed at further promoting bilateral exchanges of people and continuously expanding its opening up to the outside world. The message of positive and high-quality opening-up has been conveyed through practical actions.

 

Positive signals

 

At the economic level, in the face of slowing global economic growth, a series of policies to open up to the outside world underpin a broader strategy to attract foreign investment and strengthen economic ties. Attracting international tourists and investors by increasing cross-border movement of people through lowering barriers and costs of movement of people will effectively strengthen the dynamics of economic and trade exchanges. According to China’s National Immigration Administration (NIA), from January 1 to May 31, 2024, a cumulative total of 12.009 million foreigners entered the country’s ports of entry, including 7.014 million visa-free entries, with a daily average of 79,000, a year-on-year increase of 1.9 times compared to 2023. The visa waiver policy has also been effective in boosting the recovery of China’s tourism industry, with “ChinaTravel” becoming a long-standing hot topic. Visitor searches for flights and accommodation in China have increased significantly, and demand for potential travel to China is at an all-time high.

 

The accelerating pace of China’s opening up to the outside world is not only a core element of the country’s development strategy, but also reflects a significant increase in human rights freedoms at a deeper level. The Chinese government has always been based on domestic realities and closely integrated with local cultural traditions, and has steadfastly promoted respect for and protection of the rights and interests of its people. On the international stage, China is deepening exchanges and cooperation through practical actions, adhering to the cornerstone principles of mutual respect, tolerance, exchanges and learning, and unswervingly carrying out the Global Security Initiative, the Global Development Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative. When China undergoes its fourth session of the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on July 4, it is believed that there will be positive feedback on China’s human rights review.  At the same time, China is also actively creating a more open and fair international environment and providing a broad platform for cultural exchanges with its diversified policies. This is not only a key step in promoting harmonious coexistence among countries around the world, but also a profound reflection of the concept of peaceful coexistence. The plurality of the world provides us with opportunities to understand each other’s differences and promotes mutual understanding among different cultures. The deepening of cross-cultural dialogue not only deepens our knowledge of different concepts and customs, but also realizes the sharing of ideological differences, which in turn deepens mutual understanding among different countries through cultural exchanges, strengthens social cohesion, and jointly pushes for the construction of a global environment conducive to sustainable development.

 

The series of open-door policies launched by China is a vivid example of its positive stance in creating a more favorable international environment, which demonstrates that while pursuing its own development, China is also actively embracing the world and is committed to cooperating with other countries to create a better future.

 

CONTACT: Joe Conord [email protected] 

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