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China Extends Visa-Free Entry for 12 Nations Until 2025

China has opted to prolong its visa-free entry policy for citizens from 12 nations, such as Malaysia, until the conclusion of 2025. The announcement of this decision was made by Chinese President Xi Jinping during the culmination of the sixth session of the China-France Business Council on May 6, 2024.

The roster of countries encompassed by this extension consists of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Malaysia, Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Initially launched in November 2023 for handpicked European nations and Malaysia, the visa-free initiative was slated to terminate in November 2024. However, owing to its efficacy in stimulating tourism and fostering economic growth, an extension was deemed imperative.

Following the relaxation of COVID-19 measures in 2023, China has witnessed a steady upsurge in inbound international tourists. This extension forms a part of China’s broader economic blueprint aimed at revitalizing its economy through international tourism. Commencing from mid-March 2024, residents of Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Switzerland will enjoy eased visa regulations and parallel visa-free privileges.

Despite the initiation of additional pilot programs for various European and Asian nations, Pakistan remains excluded from the roster of countries eligible for visa-free entry.

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