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China launches updated visa-free travel policy with Malaysia, Thailand

Xinhua News CGTN China Daily | Updated:2024-01-04


Thailand will permanently waive visa requirements for Chinese citizens starting March 1, announced Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on Tuesday.

During a press conference after a cabinet meeting at the government house, Srettha said Thailand had previously granted a temporary visa waiver status for visitors from China, which was set to end on Feb. 29, 2024. After negotiations with related Chinese authorities, the Thai government has now opted to adopt a permanent visa-free policy for Chinese citizens from March.

He said that this measure will not only boost Thailand's tourism industry but also signify further improvement in the friendly relations between the two countries.

Tourism plays a crucial role in Thailand's economy, with 28 million foreign tourist arrivals recorded in 2023, including about 4.4 million visitors from Malaysia, and 3.4 million from China -- the two largest source markets.


China has eased visa applications for people visiting from the United States to boost people-to-people exchanges, according to a statement from the Chinese embassy in Washington.

As announced on its website last Friday, starting from January 1st, 2024, the Chinese embassy and consulates-general in the US will simplify the application documents required for tourist visas (L-visa).

Tourist visa applicants within the US are no longer be required to submit a round-trip air ticket booking record, proof of hotel reservation, itinerary or invitation letter, the embassy's statement said.

However, since visa applications are processed on a case-by-case basis, tourists are also asked to refer to the Chinese embassy and consulates-general in the US for specifics.


Around 214,000 people from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia entered China in December 2023, an increase of 28.5 percent compared with November, said the National Immigration Administration (NIA) on Monday. 

China's unilateral visa-free policy for ordinary passport holders from these countries took effect on December 1.

Of these inbound trips, 118,000 were made by ordinary passport holders without a visa, accounting for 55.1 percent of all inbound trips from the six countries during this period. Around 91,000 visa-free entries were made for travel and business. 


The NIA pledged more optimized entry-exit management policies for foreigners to facilitate their business, study, work and life in China.

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