China Allows Travelers From 6 Countries Visa-Free Entry

China will temporarily allow citizens from six countries to travel to China without a visa in an attempt to increase the country’s tourism. Travelers from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Malaysia, and Spain will now be able to travel to China without having a visa, something that most travelers need upon entering China legally.

According to China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, this visa-free entry will only be temporary. It will last from Dec. 1 to Nov. 30 of next year. Travelers from these six countries can enter China for tourism, visiting friends or family, business, or regular transiting. However, their travels can last no more than 15 days.

This latest step by China reveals the country’s attempt to give its economy, which is the world’s second-largest economy, a boost after the COVID-19 pandemic halted much of the country’s tourism. For three years, China had enacted incredibly strict pandemic measures to help stop the spread of the virus. For the most part, the country was closed off from the outside world.

However, now China is taking steps to open its borders to international travelers yet again. Many analysts believe this is mainly to help the country’s tourism, which will in turn help its economy.

Recently, China also restored its international flight routes, which has greatly helped revive some aspects of its tourism. However, overall tourism is still down from what it was before the pandemic. In August, COVID test requirements for travelers were also ended.

Many analysts believe that China’s international flights, to and from the country, will begin to pick up thanks to these recent steps. However, international flights have recovered much more slowly than domestic travel.

Regardless, China’s aviation authority believes that passenger flights will continue to rise. From the end of 2023 and into the beginning of 2024, they estimate that passenger flights will reach 71% of pre-pandemic numbers.

In the last few months, China has expanded its list of countries that can travel into the country under its 15-day visa-free policy. Now, 54 countries can travel to China without a visa.

Many European countries have welcomed China’s change in policy, as it will also help their own economies.

Patricia Flor, Germany’s ambassador to China, took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to welcome this move. “This decision will facilitate travel to China for many German citizens to an unprecedented extent,” Flor posted. “We hope that the Chinese government will implement the measures announced today for all EU member states.”