South China's Guangdong Province will lead the country in administering a new travel document from May 20 for Chinese residents wishing to visit Hong Kong and Macao.
The move aims to further expand non-governmental exchanges and contact between Guangdong and Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions (SARs) in south China, Deng Pufeng, deputy director of the Exit and Entry Department under the Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Public Security, said.
Currently, residents are only given permission to visit immediate family members. The introduction of the new travel document will be of great significance towards promoting economic ties between Guangdong and the two SARs, Deng said.
The 32-page new travel document, valid for five years, can be used for the purpose of travel, business, visiting relatives, education, employment, training, academic exchanges and organizingindividual exhibitions. Document holders will also be able to apply for multi-entry permits to the two bordering SARs.
The new version of the travel document will be available throughout the whole country before the end of July.
To prepare for the introduction of the new travel documents, exit and entry departments of Guangdong Province have stopped accepting applications for tours of Hong Kong and Macao from May 8.
(Xinhua News Agency May 11, 2002)