Beijing, 26 January 2024 (TDI): China and Singapore have officially inked a mutual visa exemption agreement, set to take effect from Feb 9. Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed this significant diplomatic milestone to further solidify the collaborative efforts between the two nations.
Chinese and Singaporean citizens holding ordinary passports will now enjoy visa-free entry and stays of up to 30 days in each other’s countries, facilitating seamless travel and fostering increased cultural exchange.
Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, announced the mutual visa exemption agreement during a press briefing, highlighting its strategic implementation on the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Dragon.
He emphasized the agreement as a thoughtful New Year gift that is expected to bolster people-to-people exchanges and enhance overall relations and cooperation between China and Singapore.
Visa Exemption: high-level opening up
Wu Xi, head of the Department of Consular Affairs of China’s Foreign Ministry, underscored China’s commitment to high-level opening-up. She noted that China has demonstrated its resolve by adopting a series of measures to facilitate cross-border travel.
In an interview, Wu stated, “We welcome friends from countries across the world to come to China for travel, business, investment, and study.”
China has previously established comprehensive mutual visa exemption agreements with 22 countries, including Singapore, the Maldives, and Kazakhstan, as part of its ongoing efforts to promote international cooperation.
Wu expressed her hope that both Chinese and foreign visitors will contribute to maintaining the order of cross-border travel by respecting the laws and regulations of the countries they are traveling to, as well as bilateral agreements signed between China and other nations.
This historic mutual visa exemption agreement, coupled with China’s commitment to high-level opening-up, signifies a deeper commitment to fostering international cooperation, encouraging travel, and facilitating enhanced understanding between nations.
In July of the previous year, China reinstated this arrangement, marking a revival more than three years after its suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
From January to November 2023, Singapore recorded a significant influx of tourists, with a total of 12.4 million visitors during this period. Among them, Chinese visitors accounted for just over 1.2 million.