Beijing, March 26 – China said on Wednesday it would welcome any move by India to grant visa on arrival for Chinese citizens, amid reports that the Indian government may announce the move when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits China in May.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said it would welcome the move and would consider reciprocating the gesture to allow greater travel between both countries.
As Mail Today reported on Wednesday, the matter was discussed in New Delhi at a high-level meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday, with visa on arrival proposals being considered for citizens of China, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Canada.
The Tourism Ministry has suggested the move would boost revenues from tourist arrivals. China has emerged as among the biggest outbound tourism markets in recent years. Last year, the number of outbound Chinese tourists crossed 100 million, with net spending reaching $ 165 billion – more than any other country.
Few Chinese, however, travel to India, preferring Sri Lanka and Maldives as destinations in South Asia – almost four lakh travelled to Maldives last year, more than three times the number to India.
China said on Wednesday it was willing to work with India to boost two-way travel. On the proposed visa on arrival move, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters, “We welcome this and we are willing to work with the Indian side to facilitate the personnel exchanges between the two countries.”