[photopress:American_visa.jpg,full,alignright]The General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) has urged the United States to ease its visa and travel controls on Chinese people after the two nations signed an agreement to more than double their passenger flights by 2012.
CAAC head Yang Yuanyuan said in a statement published on the regulator’s website that the US should ‘provide convenience for Chinese in visa applications and group travelling to America, in order to boost the balanced and fast growth of the aviation markets in both countries.’
The accord was announced during talks between the US and China, led by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and China’s Vice Premier Wu Yi.
Under the pact, US and China carriers will be able to operate 23 daily round-trip flights between each other’s countries by 2012, up from 10 currently, while the two sides also agreed to begin talks in 2010 on a so-called ‘open skies’ agreement. If an ‘open skies’ agreement is reached – and this seems increasingly likely – then the number of travelers in both directions will surge.
The Chinese government has made a most serious effort to make it easier for visitors to China to acquire visas. The writer, speaking from very recent personal experience, can attest to the fact that it is much, much easier to arrange a visa to China than to the United States. Matters could be improved in many areas.