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China to allow visa-free entry to citizens from 6 more European countries

by editor

The Chinese government on Thursday announced that Irish, Swiss, Hungarian, Austrian, Belgian and Luxembourgish citizens will be able to travel visa-free to China.

“I would like to inform you that starting from March 14, China will further implement the visa-free policy for Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg on a trial basis,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a press conference during the National People’s Congress meeting in Beijing.

Citizens from the named countries will be able to stay in China up to 15 days for business, tourism, family visits and transit purposes.

Premier Li Qiang  had already announced that China would extend the visa-free policy to Swiss and Irish citizens during a tour to the two countries back in January. They joined France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, which were offered visa-free travel last November.

China and the EU have been at odds over several issues, including the war in Ukraine and economic disputes. In January, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo went on a two-day visit to Beijing, during which he met with Premier Li Qiang and President Xi Jinping.

During that visit, Wang Yi said he hoped that Belgium, which currently holds the presidency of the Council of the EU, would help foster closer cooperation while calling for “new prospects,” a “new beginning” and “a new journey” in relations.

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