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Singapore and China plans to establish 30-day mutual visa-free travel

Thursday, December 7, 2023

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Singapore and China have announced plans to establish a 30-day mutual visa exemption agreement, allowing citizens of both countries to travel without a visa for up to a month.

The proposal was unveiled during the 19th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) meeting, a high-level annual forum between the two nations, co-chaired by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong and Chinese Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang.

During the meeting, Vice Premier Ding highlighted the recovery of Chinese students studying in Singapore, surpassing 40,000 and returning to pre-pandemic levels. The visa-free arrangement is seen as a move to further facilitate people-to-people exchanges between Singapore and China, providing greater convenience and supporting the strengthening of bilateral relations.

Deputy Prime Minister Wong expressed Singapore’s ambition to exceed pre-pandemic levels in direct flight connectivity between the two countries. The mutual 30-day visa-free arrangement aims to enhance people-to-people exchanges and is expected to be implemented in early 2024, pending the resolution of operational details. Currently, Chinese citizens require a visa to enter Singapore, while Singaporeans with ordinary passports can enter China without a visa for up to 15 days under certain conditions.

The announcement comes after the upgrade of Singapore-China relations to an “All-Round High-Quality Future-Oriented Partnership” during Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s visit to Chinese President Xi Jinping in March. The JCBC meeting serves as a platform to review collaborative efforts and set the direction for future cooperation between the two nations.

The move towards mutual visa-free travel aligns with efforts to strengthen ties, encourage tourism, and foster closer connections between Singapore and China. As both sides work on the operational details, the agreement is poised to contribute to the post-pandemic recovery and normalization of travel between the two nations. The implementation of the scheme is anticipated to further boost people-to-people exchanges, supporting the overarching goal of building a robust and cooperative relationship in various domains.

Input: CNA

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