Premier Li Keqiang specifically called for visa facilitation during talks with visiting French President Francois Hollande on Nov 3, amid other hot issues such as boosting a green economy, third-party market and international collaboration on industrial capacity.
“The European side has launched a new visa system, which requires collecting applicants’ biometric data such as fingerprints, making it even more complicated for Chinese citizens,” Premier Li said.
“I hope France can push the European Union to initiate convenient visa services for Chinese citizens to realize bilateral visa exemption for diplomatic passport holders,” the Premier said.
He said the policy will not only benefit China, but also France and the EU, as Chinese tourists’ consumption will help drive the local economy.
Hollande said he will help simplify the visa procedures for Chinese nationals, hoping to bring more convenience for personal visits between China and France.
In June during his visit to France, Premier Li facilitated a policy from Elysee Palace to provide Chinese citizens with multiple entry visas for five years. The issue, which affects Chinese travelers’ practical interests, has been among Premier Li’s top concerns.
In fact, Premier Li has been seeking more benefits for Chinese citizens during many diplomatic occasions on issues such as entry and exit procedures, in addition to his zeal for promoting “Made-in-Chinas”.
In October 2014 during Premier Li’s visit to Germany, the country vowed a series of convenient visa services for Chinese nationals, such as accelerating visa approval procedures. In May, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet announced a visa fee exemption for Chinese tourists and more convenience for businessmen after her talk with Premier Li.