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China introduces visa-free entry for a number of EU member countries

China introduces visa-free entry for a number of EU member countries China has introduced visa-free entry for a number of EU member countries (photo: Getty Images)

China is introducing a visa-free regime for citizens of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia, in an effort to attract new tourists to the country, according to Reuters.

Citizens of these countries will not require a visa when entering China for business, tourism, or visiting relatives for a period not exceeding 15 days, from December 1, 2023, to November 30, 2024, as reported by Reuters.

In recent months, China has taken a series of steps to revitalize its tourism sector after three years of strict measures to combat COVID-19 that largely closed its borders to the outside world.

"This decision will facilitate travel to China for many German citizens to an unprecedented extent. We hope that the Chinese government will implement the measures announced today for all EU member states," said Patricia Flor, the German Ambassador to China.

According to her, visa-free entry to Germany for Chinese citizens will only be possible if it is approved by all members of the Schengen Agreement.

In August, the Chinese government also lifted all COVID testing requirements for tourists.

China has lifted strict measures to combat COVID-19

In December 2022, nearly three years after the initial strict measures, China announced the easing of COVID restrictions and quarantine. These were the first radical changes since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

A month later, in January 2023, China opened sea and land crossings with Hong Kong and lifted the requirement for arriving travelers to undergo quarantine.

Despite the relaxation of previously imposed stringent measures, China's economy is facing challenges in recovery and reaching a "pre-dug" level. This is why the government is taking steps to attract new investments and tourist flows to China.