Travel Gossip: China Grants Switzerland Visa-Free Travel

By Billy Jiang, January 16, 2024

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In a landmark move, China has announced a visa-free policy for citizens of Switzerland, solidifying the diplomatic bonds between the two nations. 

The groundbreaking decision was revealed on yesterday, January 15, following a significant meeting between Swiss President Viola Amherd and Chinese Premier Li Qiang.

Switzerland now joins a select group of European countries benefiting from China's visa-free access, marking a crucial development in their diplomatic relations. 

This policy aims to enhance people-to-people exchanges, boost tourism, and foster stronger ties between the nations.

China has been a key trading partner for Switzerland since 2010, and it currently stands as Switzerland's third largest trading partner globally, following the European Union and the United States.

As part of the diplomatic discussions, the two nations signed a joint declaration, focusing on the expansion of their free trade agreement. 

The Swiss government, in its official statement, hinted at discussions regarding Switzerland's inclusion in the list of countries whose residents can benefit from visa-free entry to China for up to 15 days. 

Although specific details were not provided, Chinese state media Xinhua reported that China has agreed to implement a "unilateral visa-free policy" for Swiss citizens.

In reciprocation, Switzerland has committed to providing enhanced visa facilitation for Chinese citizens and enterprises investing in the country. 

China's recent efforts to welcome international visitors align with its broader strategy to open its doors to the world. 

The National Immigration Administration of China introduced five significant measures effective from January 11, 2024, to streamline entry for foreign nationals, facilitating business, study, and tourism.

READ MORE: 5 New Measures Just Made Visiting China Easier

This move follows China's earlier decision to grant visa-free access to passport holders from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia, effective from December 1, 2023. 

READ MORE: China Announces Visa-Free Travel for These 6 Countries...

The visa-free treatment allows tourists from these countries to visit China for up to 15 days within a 12-month period.

READ MORE: Travel Gossip: China's Visa-Free Policy Already Proving Popular

Moreover, in an effort to simplify the tourist visa process for American visitors, China implemented changes effective from January 1, 2024, while also expanding its visa-free transit policy to 54 countries in November 2023.

READ MORE: Travel Gossip: China Simplifies Visa Application for Americans

For the latest updates on travel in China, stay connected with our WeChat official account, ThatsGBA.

[Cover image by Billy Jiang/That's]

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