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Allow visa-free tourism between Russia and China, says senior Beijing official

By The Siberian Times reporter
11 November 2015

Russia could get a major boost from an influx of Chinese visitors.

The number of Chinese tourists visiting Russia in the past two years had gone up by twice, exceeding 1.1 million a year, with Siberia a potential region of interest. Picture: VL.ru

Gui Congyou, head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry's European-Central Asian Affairs Department, said: 'We want to make tourism another means of bolstering our ties with Russia and easing visa controls is one way of making this happen.' Recent steps by the two countries include the lifting of visa requirements for groups of five tourists and more.

'We are going to continue easing the bilateral visa regime for tourists all the way to abolishing visas altogether,' he said. The number of Chinese tourists visiting Russia in the past two years had gone up by twice, exceeding 1.1 million a year, with Siberia a potential region of interest.

'Almost half a million visited St Petersburg last year alone and if we bring this annual figure to five million this would bring a lot of money to the Russian budget. With each Chinese tourist coming to Russia spending around $2,000, this would amount to nearly $10 billion a year,' said  the diplomat.

Gui Congyou mentioned the recent drop in the number of Russian tourists venturing to China caused by economic problems. He hoped Russia's temporary economic woes  would end and the number of tourists travelling to the People's Republic would rise. 

Comments (9)

Zhuubaajie,
Russia has the Technology and Capital, but is lacking of manpower mainly.
Long JC, France
03/01/2016 03:39
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Kennik, perhaps your comments are coloured by Australias other low standing in international educational achievement test scores. First of all, China as it is composed today is not one ethnic polity. China consists of many groups who have been overwhelmed by the predominant Han, the Mandarin and Cantonese speaking people. There are many other sub groups, some of very large populations, and some who are quite unhappy under Han rule. There have been large rebellions by there peoples in the past and even now. Travel to southwest china and you will find entirely different groups in all respects to the Han, and there is no love lost between these groups and the Han. There were huge rebellions in the mid 1800 s in the south, The Taiping Rebellions, and today there are simmering rebellions in Tibet and in Sinkiang. Ask yourself why the Mongolians choose to split away from China and why they choose to ally themselves to Russia. The Manchus were overwhelmed by China and resent it still. Ask yourself why the Manchus in large part were willing supporters of the Japanese in the 1920 s and 30 s as the Japanese set up their puppet state of Manchukuo. Ask yourself why those poor people the Uighurs are even now attempting vainly to avoid the avalanche of Han immigrants. I urge you to actually read some of those books that you have parroted in your posts. I also note that you refer to the British in jaundiced terms. Have you forgotten that your precious Australia was stolen by the British from the Aborigines? If you truly mean your words I will expect to hear from you by return of post that you have moved back to whatever dungheap that your ancestors came from.
Fred, Canada
09/12/2015 10:30
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Further to my previous comment on 'Fred's' lack of historical knowledge. A second point. There is no doubt that politically China was recognised as ruling Tibet in the nineteenth century. In 1904, the British (those lovers of liberty) invaded Tibet. As they crossed the border from their enslaved Indian Empire, they passed a Chinese custom post. In Lhasa (the Dalai lama had fled) the Brits negotiated with the Tibetans through the Chinese Amban (Governor General). (See Peter Fleming's,'Bayonets to Lhasa'). BTW, a notable British achievement during the invasion was to machine gun a large group of unarmed Tibetans, massacring some 400.
Kennik, Australia
04/12/2015 02:12
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How can north American's ignorance of history be excused? The 'Fred' poster claims that 'China' invaded and occupied 'Tibet.' So let's have a look at this claim. First, we should note that the Dalai lama title was first endowed on the leader of the Buddhist Yellow Hat leader by Altan Kaghan leader of the Tumed (a Mongolian sub-group) in the 16th C. The Tumed later submitted to the nascent Qing dynasty as Nurgaci slowly built the Manchu into a North Asian power. This was the culmination of a struggle that was already at least 1500 years old. As the Manchu increased their political power in north Asia, the Dalai lama, in return for being recognised as the spiritual leader of Tibet and Mongolia, submitted politically to the Manchu and were incorporated into the Qing Empire and thence to modern China.(See Pamela Crossley's, 'A Translucent Mirror' for a detailed history)
Kennik, Australia
04/12/2015 02:05
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To F Z Kung: Perhaps you are thinking of a different China. The China that I warn of has invaded and occupied Tibet, once an independent country. It has invaded and bloodily occupied Zinchiang, the homeland of the Uighur people, forcing them into a desparate and forlorn war of resistance. It has laid claim to the entire South China sea, completely against the international treaty that China itself signed, trampling the rights of Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and The Phillipines, while it builds its ridiculous artificial islands. I could go on and on but I think that you must get my point. Of course I could mention the border desputes with virtually all of its neighbours, that included war with India, and its adsorption of Manchuria. No, Russia and especially its territory of Siberia, need to be very very careful in any of its dealings with China.
Fred, Canada
22/11/2015 01:55
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To Fred, Canada.

Since when have the Chinese behave like you, stealing other people's lands ? Stealing, raping and killing are not Chinese traits. The Chinese have always gone to trade, very unlike you lot. Learn a bit of history before commenting. People like you have caused enough troubles in this world, go and take a cold bath and calm down.
F Z Kung, Australia
21/11/2015 16:26
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Siberia remains the only undeveloped fertile land on Earth, where genetically modified farming has not yet been introduced. It has the potential of developing into the biggest organic farming base, with strict non-GMO rules. Russia has the land and water, but lacks everything else (capital, technology, manpower) to make it happen. China can supply the rest and the whole world benefits.

For Russia, an undeveloped Siberia remains an empty promise, a hole in the ground that does not do Russians any good. Opening up Siberia means immediate foreign currency cash, AND sustained income for Moscow to provide all Russians better lives.

For China, developing Siberia means making full and economic use of excess capacity in many industries - construction and transport equipment, steel, metals, cements, etc.
Zhuubaajie, Hong Kong
12/11/2015 12:57
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Siberia has long been desired by China. That country has felt since the 1600 s that Russia essentially stole the land. Siberians need to be very careful. Here is a poem to think about. "There was a young lady of Niger, who smiled as she rode on a tiger. They returned from the ride, with the lady inside, and the smile on the face of the tiger." When a land rich in resources, but with a small population, is bordered by a land needing resources, but with a large population, there is a problem. Ask us, we know.
Fred, Canada
12/11/2015 12:09
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and good so.forget about Americans or the West.... The EAST is the future for Russia-s tourist industry!
Benedikt, Moscow,Russia
12/11/2015 09:00
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1

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