Thailand, China waive mutual visa requirements

Thai Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, have agreed on mutual visa exemptions for their countries' nationals.

The waiver they signed on Sunday in Bangkok means that from March 1, visas won't be needed for visits of up to 30 days between the two countries.

The Thai government had waived short-term visas for Chinese tourists from last September through February. The new agreement extends the exemption into March and beyond.

Parnpree said travel between Thailand and China, whether for tourism or business, will become more convenient and help stimulate both countries' tourism industries.

In 2019, before the pandemic struck, some 11 million Chinese tourists visited Thailand, accounting for a quarter of all foreign visitors that year.

The recovery in the number of Chinese tourists has been weak due to China's economic slowdown. Last year's figure was only about 3.5 million.