China, Malaysia extend visa exemption policies 

Jenny Ortiz 1 month ago
China, Malaysia extend visa exemption policies 

China and Malaysia have agreed to extend their mutual visa-free exemption policies, facilitating greater bilateral exchanges and reflecting China’s commitment to high-quality international engagement. As outlined in a joint statement from both nations, the policy will see China extend visa exemptions for Malaysian tourists until the end of 2025, with Malaysia reciprocating by extending the same privilege for Chinese tourists until the end of 2026. 

The decision aligns with China’s broader efforts to open its borders and enhance people-to-people connections. The extension of the visa-free policy is expected to significantly benefit tourism and business travel between the two countries, demonstrating the robust and growing relationship between China and Malaysia. 

Surge in travel interest following announcement 

The announcement has already had a tangible impact on travel interest. Local media, Global Times reported that according to Qunar, a domestic travel platform, search volumes for Kuala Lumpur surged by 49 percent. Malaysia remains one of the top three overseas destinations on the platform, with flight bookings increasing 2.2 times compared to the previous year. 

Flight activity between China and Malaysia has also seen a strong recovery. Data from Variflight indicates that the number of China-Malaysia round-trip flights from June 1-19 reached over 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels, averaging more than 100 round-trip passenger flights daily. 

Expansion of visa-free entry for other nations 

In addition to the bilateral agreement with Malaysia, China has expanded its visa-free policy to include New Zealand and Australia. Passport holders from these countries can now enter China without a visa for up to 15 days for purposes such as business, tourism, visiting relatives and friends, and transit. 

This move follows earlier announcements from China’s National Immigration Administration, which implemented a visa exemption policy for foreign tourist groups entering China via cruise ships from designated coastal provinces and cities. This policy aims to attract more international visitors and promote China’s coastal tourism industry. 

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