1,000 Foreigners Enter Shanghai Visa Free

More than 1,000 foreign passengers have visited Shanghai this year without applying for visas before entering the Chinese metropolis.

Most of the passengers came from the United States, Japan and Europe.

Shanghai has allowed passengers from certain countries to pass through customs via its two international airports and stay in the city for 24 hours without a visa. In some cases the time limit can be extended to 48 hours.

The visa-free policy has been carried out since January 1 with approval from the central government.

The two international airports are Pudong and Hongqiao. Shanghai is the only city in China with two international airports.

The policy has been welcomed by foreigners. "It helps us a lot to freely enter and leave Shanghai," said German tourist Smith Thomas.

An official at Shanghai Customs said the policy is also favorable to the development of transportation and trade in the city.

He welcomed foreign citizens, except those law offenders, to pass through Pudong or Hongqiao international airports.

Foreigners who make a stopover in Shanghai are also allowed to visit Shanghai's neighboring areas.

Shanghai Customs has made pamphlets to publicize the policy. It also opens special channels at the airports and deploys officers to handle visa-free services for foreign passengers.

The officers said the policy is still in its embryonic stage and is being carried out on an experimental basis.

(People's Daily )

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