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Visa-Free Entry to Iran for Chinese Tourists Posted by on Sep 16, 2019 in News, Politics and Diplomacy

Iran has decided unilaterally to cancel the visa requirement for Chinese citizens.

Image via Pixabay

The Henley Passport Index is a global ranking of the world’s passports (护照 hù zhào), according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. It ranks the countries according to the travel freedom for their citizens. On the Index update of July 2019, China was ranked 74, with only 70 destinations (目的地 mù dì dì) offering its citizens visa-free or visa-on-arrival access. Passports’ holders of the United States and the United Kingdom (both ranked 6), for comparison, enjoy visa-free access to 183 destinations.

Visa (签证 qiān zhèng) protocol is usually bilateral, which means that visa-related decisions are usually made by mutual agreement between the two countries (国家guó jiā). But this year, Iran (伊朗 Yī lǎng) has decided unilaterally to cancel the visa requirement for Chinese citizens. While Iranian tourists are still required to apply for a visa to China as usual, Chinese citizens are allowed to travel to Iran without visa.

  • 伊朗政府宣布对中国游客实行免签入境政策。

Yī lǎng zhèng fǔ xuān bù duì zhōng guó yóu kè shí xíng miǎn qiān rù jìng zhèng cè.

The Iranian government announced a visa-free entry policy for Chinese tourists.

On July, the Iranian Embassy in China (伊朗驻华大使馆 Yī lǎng zhù huá dà shǐ guǎn) used Weibo (a popular social media website in China) to publish its new visa regulations. The embassy announced that citizens of the People’s Republic of China can enjoy a free-visa (免签 miǎn qiān) visit to Iran. They believe Chinese tourists will enjoy the warm hospitality (热情好客 rè qíng hăo kè) of the Iranian people, and the rich and colorful Persian culture (波斯文化 bō sī wén huà). From now on, Chinese travelling to Iran are permitted a stay (逗留 dòu liú) of 21 days without applying for a visa.

  • 中国游客前往伊朗将不再需要获得签证。

Zhōng guó yóu kè qián wǎng Yī lǎng jiāng bù zài xū yào huò dé qiān zhèng.

Chinese tourists visiting Iran will no longer need to get a visa.

The new regulations were reported on the Chinese Financial News:

In the last couple of decades, many Chinese tourists (游客 yóu kè) explored the world full of curiosity and passion. China became the world’s largest outbound travel market, and is set to grow further. In 2017, for example, Chinese travelers took more than 131 million trips overseas. In 2018, the number has already jumped to 149 million trips. According to the Tourism Highlights 2018 Edition Report of the World Tourism Organization, China continues to lead global outbound travel in terms of expenditure. Chinese tourists spent a total of 258 billion dollars (美元 měi yuán) abroad. After them, for comparison, 135 billion spent by American tourists and only 84 billion by German tourists. Given that only about 10% of Chinese hold a passport (compared to more than 40% of Americans), the potential for this tourism is huge.

The Iranians wish to enjoy this potential. 52,000 Chinese tourists visited Iran over one year, ending in March. In a bid to boost its economy (经济 jīng jì), Iran announced earlier this year it would no longer stamp visitors’ passports, allowing them to bypass a US entry ban on travelers who have visited the Islamic Republic. With the new visa waiver for Chinese tourists, Iran is hoping to attract as many as two million Chinese visitors a year.

  • 伊朗不会在来访外国游客的护照上盖签证章。这项决定被认为有利于鼓励外国人不必担心美国的惩罚前往伊朗旅行。

Yī lǎng bù huì zài lái fǎng wài guó yóu kè de hù zhào shàng gài qiān zhèng zhāng. Zhè xiàng jué dìng bèi rèn wéi yǒu lì yú gǔ lì wài guó rén bù bì dān xīn měi guó de chéng fá qián wǎng Yī lǎng lǚ xíng.

Iran will not stamp the passports of foreign tourists visiting the country. This decision is believed to be beneficial in encouraging foreigners to travel to Iran without fear of US punishment.

Image via Pixabay

The Iranian Embassy post received more than 23,000 likes. Some comments were enthusiastic. 希望有机会可以去 (xī wàng yǒu jī huì kě yǐ qù, Hope to have the opportunity to go), wrote one user. 伊朗是我最爱的国家之一 (Yī lǎng shì wǒ zuì ài de guó jiā zhī yī, Iran is one of my favorite countries), wrote another.

But many comments were critical. Most of them resented the obligation of foreign women visiting the country to cover their heads. 外来女游客有自主选择是否佩戴头巾的权利! (wài lái nǚ yóu kè yǒu zì zhǔ xuǎn zé shì fǒu pèi dài tóu jīn de quán lì!, Foreign female tourists have the right to choose whether to wear a headscarf!), wrote one user. 什么时候访问贵国的妇女不用戴头巾再说吧 (shén me shí hòu fǎng wèn guì guó de fù nǚ bù yòng dài tóu jīn zài shuō ba, When foreign women visiting your country wouldn’t have to wear head kerchief, then I’ll consider it), agreed another.


Text vocabulary

国家 guó jiā = country, state

入境 rù jìng = to enter a country

目的地 mù dì dì = destination

护照 hù zhào = passport

签证 qiān zhèng = visa

免签 miǎn qiān = free-visa

游客 yóu kè = tourist

逗留 dòu liú = stay

来访  lái fǎng = to visit

访问 fǎng wèn = to visit

伊朗 Yī lǎng = Iran

大使馆 dà shǐ guǎn = embassy

驻华 zhù huá = in China

伊朗驻华大使馆 Yī lǎng zhù huá dà shǐ guǎn = Iranian Embassy in China

热情好客 rè qíng hăo kè = warm hospitality

波斯文化 bō sī wén huà = Persian culture

经济 jīng jì = economy

美元 měi yuán = dollar



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