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China's new policies put foreign exchanges on firm footing

By Zhao Manfeng | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-12-01 13:34
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Passengers walk at the waiting hall of Chongqing North Railway Station in Chongqing, Southwest China, Aug 31, 2023.[Photo/Xinhua]

To facilitate foreign passengers purchase train tickets in the country, China Railway rolled out an online identity verification service for foreign passport holders staring from November 28. The railway's website 12306.cn and its app have also launched English versions and provided a number of facilitation measures for foreign passengers traveling by rail.

As always, China is committed to enhancing people-to-people exchange with other countries and has worked to assist foreigners with traveling, working, studying and living in China.

The new policy will make it easier for foreigners to purchase train tickets in China. They can now go through the verification process online, without the need to visit a physical ticket counter or rely on intermediaries for ticket purchases.

The availability of English versions of the railway website and app allows foreign passengers to navigate and access information more conveniently. This includes being able to search for train schedules, ticket availability, and other relevant details in English.

This is only one of the policies that show China's efforts of promoting international exchanges.

On November 24, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning introduced a trial program that will allow visa-free entry for citizens of five European countries and Malaysia as China encourages more people to visit for business and tourism, so as to facilitate the high-quality development of Chinese and foreign personnel exchanges and high-level opening up to the outside world.

Starting Dec 1, citizens of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia will be allowed to enter China for up to 15 days without a visa.

From Dec 1 to Nov 30 next year, citizens of those countries entering China for business, tourism, visiting relatives and friends, or transiting for no more than 15 days, will not need a visa, a foreign ministry spokesperson

Since March, China has resumed issuing all types of visas.

"China will open its door wider. We welcome more foreign friends to visit China and travel around, perhaps by high-speed rail, to experience first-hand China's high-quality development and high-level opening up," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at the regular press conference held Nov 30.

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