China will grant unilateral visa-free entry for up to 15 days to travelers holding ordinary passports of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia, the Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.
Starting Dec 1, the trial policy will be in effect for one year, until Nov 30, 2024, the ministry's spokeswoman Mao Ning said at a news conference.
Citizens of the five European countries and Malaysia can enter China without a visa for business, tourism, family visit and transit purposes, she said, adding that the measure is aimed at facilitating cross-border travel and promoting high-quality development and high-level opening-up.
This is China's latest effort to improve its visa policies. Earlier this month, it expanded its visa-free transit policy to 54 countries to include citizens of Norway.
China previously allowed citizens of Brunei, Japan and Singapore to enter without a visa, but suspended this after the COVID-19 outbreak. It resumed visa-free entry for citizens of Brunei and Singapore in July.
Since the beginning of the year, China has adopted several measures, including scrapping all COVID-19 testing requirements and ceasing online visa appointments in favor of walk-in visa application services, to ensure smooth channels for foreigners traveling to the country.