Authorities in China have made an announcement regarding their plan to offer visa-free travel to a couple of member states of the European Union.
On this note, they revealed that citizens of five countries will be exempt from all visa requirements starting from the 1st of December.
The countries permitted to travel visa-free have been named to be Germany, Italy, France, Spain, and the Netherlands.
Chinese Foreign Ministry
According to a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Mao Ning, passport holders of these five countries will be permitted to enter China for several purposes without the need for a visa.
The purposes for these visits have been deemed to be business, tourism, visiting a family member, or simple transit.
However, the visa-free requirement will only apply if the travelers intend to stay in China for a period of 15 days or less.
Where higher periods of stay are concerned, citizens of these countries will be required to undergo the regular visa application process.
In the words of Mao Ning, China has planned to apply its unilateral visa-free policy to a number of countries across the globe on a trial basis.
According to him, the country is hoping to facilitate travel across borders and invite people to get a taste of its high-standard and high-quality developments.
Moreover, he revealed that as of now, the visa-free option has been extended to a total of six countries, which includes five from Europe with the sixth being Malaysia.
However, the spokesperson took to stressing that the citizens of Germany, Italy, France, Spain, and the Netherlands will only be permitted to travel without a visa on a temporary basis.
Consequently, this will entail that the policy to travel without going through the regular visa procedure is not going to be indefinite.
Ming elaborated that as of now, the period decided for visa-free travel is going to begin on the 1st of December and end on the 30th of November 2024.
In addition to facilitating easy travel across borders, China hopes to boost its travel and tourism industry.
It is no secret that the sector in China took a significant hit due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the authorities are now trying to get back to where they left off.
Therefore, the country has come up with detailed plans to boost tourism even more in the upcoming year, opening visa-free travel to a couple of other countries.
This announcement of visa-free travel from Chinese authorities was well-received by the five EU countries on the list.
The ambassador to China from Germany, Patricia Flor, took to the social media platform, X, to share the good news.
She added how this is a progressive step towards ensuring that German citizens can easily travel to China for a number of purposes.
The ambassador took to adding that she hopes this facility is made available to all EU countries in the future for an indefinite period to further boost the relations between the union and China.