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Ambassador: 10-year visa between Israel and China will facilitate 'change and openness'

By Du Mingming (People's Daily Online)    15:28, November 16, 2016
Ambassador: 10-year visa between Israel and China will facilitate 'change and openness'
Matan Vilnai, Israel’s ambassador to China, addresses attendees of the launch event of the 10-year visa program between Israel and China in Beijing on Nov. 15, 2016. (People’s Daily Online/Du Mingming)

“I believe that this visa agreement will facilitate a greater change and openness between Israel and China,” said Matan Vilnai, Israel’s ambassador to China, at the official launch event in Beijing for the 10-year visa program between Israel and China.

At the event on Nov. 15, Vilnai announced that starting from Nov. 11, Chinese and Israeli citizens are eligible to receive 10-year visas with multiple entries. Under the visa agreement, Chinese people will be able to enter Israel multiple times over a 10-year period, and are allowed to stay up to 90 days each time. They cannot stay more than 180 days within one year.

The agreement was signed in March at a meeting of the China-Israel Joint Committee on Innovation Cooperation, in the presence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong.

“This agreement symbolizes the beginning of a new era in the relations between Israel and China - a way for Israelis and Chinese people to create new connections between them,” the ambassador emphasized.

Vilnai pointed out two important things he had done during his four years as ambassador. He first cited the promotion of direct flights between the two countries (there are now four direct flights between Beijing and Tel Aviv every week), and then mentioned the simplification of visa policies.

At the launch event, Vilnai presented the first batch of 10-year multiple-entry visas to Chinese citizens who have contributed to the friendship between the two countries. Liu Ye, a Chinese film star and the tourism ambassador of Israel, was the first Chinese citizen to receive the visa.

Israel is the third country to grant Chinese citizens multiple-entry visas, following the U.S. and Canada. The new visa agreement is another major step forward, coming after Israel and China established mutual visa waivers for diplomatic and official passport-holders on Jan. 17. 


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(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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