CHINA - More Visa-Free Tourist Nations

Arno Froese

China will temporarily exempt citizens of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia from needing visas to visit the world’s second-largest economy in a bid to give a boost to post-pandemic tourism.

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 said.

China has been taking steps in recent months—including restoring international flight routes—to revive its tourism sector following three years of strict COVID-19 measures that largely shut its borders to the outside world.

The government is also looking to re-establish its image around the world after clashing with many Western countries on various issues including COVID, human rights, Taiwan and trade.

A recent Pew Research Center survey in 24 countries revealed that views of China were broadly negative, with 67% of adults expressing unfavorable views.

More than half of the respondents said China interfered in the affairs of other countries and did not take into account the interests of others.

China’s aviation authority said in October that 16,680 weekly flights were expected from November through March, with passenger flights expected to reach 71% of the total four years ago.

The European Chamber of Commerce in China also said the move would help boost business confidence. “It is a positive that the authorities are taking steps to facilitate people-to-people exchanges,” it added.

-www.reuters.com, 24 November 2023

Arno's Commentary

While China is in 7th place when it comes to foreign visitors with 30 million a year (France is 170 million, Mexico 51 million, and USA 45 million), it is the nation that produces the most international tourists globally. Besides, they spend significantly more when compared to US or German tourists, for example. 

When it comes to the ranking of economies, most indicators place the USA as number one, followed by China. Checking China’s economic information, they are listed as number one. This is supported by the fact that it is the world’s largest manufacturing country, with a 28.4% share; the USA is a distant second, with a 16.6% share of global manufacturing output.

What is the significance? One word: globalism. While the world already functions as a global society, primarily based on merchandise, we know from Scripture that there is more to come. Revelation 16:14 speaks of the kings of the earth and of the whole world, who will have to be united for Armageddon: “For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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