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China and EU Agree to Short-Stay Diplomatic Visa Waiver
   2016-03-01 19:46:43    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Chen Xieyuan

Yang Yanyi (L), head of the Chinese Mission to the European Union, shakes hands with Pieter de Gooijer (C), permanent representative of the Netherlands to the EU, which currently holds the EU Presidency, as the European Commission Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs Belinda Pyke stands by, during a signing ceremony of the agreement in Brussels, Belgium, Feb 29, 2016. [Photo: Xinhua]

China and the European Union have agreed to a reciprocal short-stay visa waiver for holders of diplomatic passports.

Under the agreement, Chinese citizens with diplomatic passports can travel to the EU without a visa and stay up to 90 days. Likewise, EU citizens with diplomatic passports can enjoy the same privilege in China.

The agreement excludes the UK and Ireland, and the 90-day limit applies to any given 180-day period.

Head of the Chinese Mission to the EU Yang Yan-yi says the agreement marks a new era in China-EU relations.

"Entering into the new decade of our relationship and facing many opportunities and challenges, our vision for stronger ties and friendship and cooperation calls for earnest promotion and facilitation of mobility and exchanges between our peoples. The signing of this agreement undoubtedly marks a concrete step in visa facilitation and commits us to work together more closely to broaden and deepen our mutually beneficial cooperation. "

Permanent Representative Pieter De Gooijer of the Dutch EU Presidency echoed the same sentiment.

"Today's agreement is an important new step forward in our continuing cooperation. The signing of this agreement is therefore a strong expression of the willingness of China and the EU to ensure a continuation of the fruitful cooperation which will be beneficial to people-to-people contacts and the economies of both parties. "

The agreement will provisionally take effect on Thursday.

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