S'pore & China to establish mutual 30-day visa-free entry travel arrangement: Lawrence Wong

An announcement during the JCBC.

Winnie Li | December 07, 2023, 12:02 PM



Singapore and China will be strengthening people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, through a 30-day mutual visa exemption arrangement, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong.

Wong made the remarks above at the 19th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) forum on Dec. 7, reported Lianhe Zaobao

This year's JCBC forum is the first time Wong is co-charing the annual apex-level platform, which reviews the collaboration between Singapore and China and charts the direction for cooperation between the two countries.

Previous arrangement of 15-day visa free entry for Singaporeans

Previously, Singaporean citizens entering China for business, tourism, family visits, and transit purposes could enjoy a 15-day visa-free entry policy, which was resumed by the Chinese government in July 2023.

Citizens of the People's Republic of China who hold ordinary passports are required to obtain a valid visa to travel and seek entry into Singapore, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' website.

19th JCBC forum carries "special significance"

During the forum, Wong said this year's JCBC forum carries "special significance" because it is the first forum since Singapore and China upgraded their bilateral relations to an "All-Round High-Quality Future-Oriented Partnership" in March 2023.

Additionally, 2023 marks the 15th anniversary of The Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city, and Tianjin is the host city for this year's forum.

The full details of this arrangement, including when it will be implemented, has yet to be announced.

Hoping that direct flight connectivity will reach & "go beyond" pre-Covid levels

Wong said that it is even more important for Singapore and China to strengthen their cooperation considering the backdrop of the 19th JCBC forum — headwinds faced by the global economy, rising geopolitical uncertainties, and climate change.

He also identified the exchanges amongst the people of both countries to be the "foundation" of bilateral cooperation.

While noting that the volume of people exchanges between Singapore and China is increasing, and flight connectivity has increased close to pre-Covid levels, Wong said that Singapore hopes the direct flight connectivity between the two countries can reach and even "go beyond" pre-Covid levels, reported The Business Times.

"The 30-day visa exemption arrangement between our two countries will help achieve this goal. By enabling greater people-to-people exchanges, the arrangement will also fortify the bedrock of our bilateral relations," added Wong.

Top image via Lawrence Wong/Facebook