In an effort to boost its tourism industry, China has started taking action recently, including reopening international flight lines.
In an attempt to spur post-pandemic tourism, China will temporarily waive the requirement for visas for residents 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 restrictions that effectively closed its borders to the outside world.
In addition, the administration wants to repair its reputation abroad following disagreements with numerous Western nations over a range of matters, including trade, human rights, COVID, and Taiwan.
According to a recent Pew Research Center survey conducted in 24 nations, 67% of individuals had unfavorable opinions of China, indicating that opinions about the country are generally negative.
More than half of those surveyed claimed that China ignored other people’s interests and meddled in other nations’ internal affairs.
German ambassador to China Patricia Flor stated on the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, that this decision will enable travel to China for a large number of German residents in a way that has never been possible before.
She expressed her hope that the Chinese government would carry out the directives made public today for all EU members.
According to her, Chinese nationals may only enter Germany without a visa if all signatories to the European Schengen Agreement gave their approval.
China extended its visa-free travel program to 54 nations last month, including Norwegian nationals.
China eliminated the COVID test requirement for all incoming travelers 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 in the next five months, accounting for 71% of all flights four years prior.