Frankfurt Airport. The new Chinese policy is expected to boost travel between Germany and China/Photo: Femi Awoniyi

China grants visa-free travel to Germans, 5 others

China has granted visa-free travel to Germans and citizens of five other countries for a year, its foreign ministry announced on Friday.

“China has decided to apply unilateral visa-free policy to more countries on a trial basis, which involves extending visa-free treatment to travellers holding ordinary passports from six countries, namely France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia,” Chinese foreign ministry’s spokesperson Mao Ning said.

According to the official announcement on the website of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from 1 December 2023 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.

Currently, most travellers need a visa to enter China.

Those who do not meet the visa exemption requirements from the above countries, such as those who want to stay longer than 15 days, still need to obtain a visa to China before entering the country.

Notably, there was no mention of reciprocal arrangements for Chinese citizens visiting the six countries, which currently, all require visa from Chinese travellers.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry unveiled the decision to emphasize its “commitment to fostering cross-border exchanges and promoting high-quality development in services related to the movement of people”.

According to analysts, China’s move is part of its broader efforts to attract international visitors and investors by simplifying entry procedures in the face of an economic slowdown and a decrease in foreign investment.

Vivian Asamoah

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