Belgians could be exempted from short-stay visas for China

Belgian citizens could soon be exempted from requiring a visa for short trips to China, Belgian Foreign Affairs minister Hadja Lahbib announced on Friday after talks with Chinese officials.

Five European Union countries currently enjoy this privilege: France, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Spain. The list could soon be expanded, and Belgium is keen to be included.

"It would be a significant step forward"

Lahbib spoke to her counterpart Wang Yi and president Xi Jinping on Friday during a diplomatic mission to China alongside Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo. According to Lahbib, the Chinese leadership is positive about the Belgian request.

"It would be a significant step forward. One could certainly say that Belgium is part of this family of countries that are already benefiting from this," she said.


Belgian Foreign minister Hadja Lahbib and Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi before a diplomatic meeting in Beijing, China, on 12 January 2024 © BELGA PHOTO BENOIT DOPPAGNE

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