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For centuries China has stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences. But in the first half of the 20th century, China was beset by major famines, civil unrest, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War II, the Communists under MAO Zedong established a dictatorship that, while ensuring China's sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, his successor DENG Xiaoping gradually introduced market-oriented reforms and decentralized economic decision making. Output quadrupled in the next 20 years and China now has the world's second largest GDP. Political controls remain tight even while economic controls continue to weaken.


Location: Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam

Geographic coordinates: 35 00 N, 105 00 E

total: 9,596,960 sq km
land: 9,326,410 sq km
water: 270,550 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than the US

Land boundaries: total: 22,147.24 km

Border countries: Afghanistan 76 km, Bhutan 470 km, Burma 2,185 km, Hong Kong 30 km, India 3,380 km, Kazakhstan 1,533 km, North Korea 1,416 km, Kyrgyzstan 858 km, Laos 423 km, Macau 0.34 km, Mongolia 4,676.9 km, Nepal 1,236 km, Pakistan 523 km, Russia (northeast) 3,605 km, Russia (northwest) 40 km, Tajikistan 414 km, Vietnam 1,281 km

Coastline: 14,500 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 NM
continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin
territorial sea: 12 NM

Climate: extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north

Terrain: mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m
highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m (1999 est.)

Natural resources: coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest)

Land use:
arable land: 10%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 43%
forests and woodland: 14%
other: 33% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 498,720 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: frequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts

Environment - current issues: air pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide particulates) from reliance on coal, produces acid rain; water shortages, particularly in the north; water pollution from untreated wastes; deforestation; estimated loss of one-fifth of agricultural land since 1949 to soil erosion and economic development; desertification; trade in endangered species

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note: world's fourth-largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US)


Population: 1,273,111,290 (July 2001 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 25.01% (male 166,754,893; female 151,598,117)
15-64 years: 67.88% (male 445,222,858; female 418,959,646)
65 years and over: 7.11% (male 42,547,296; female 48,028,480) (2001 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.88% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 15.95 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 6.74 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.09 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2001 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 28.08 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.62 years
male: 69.81 years
female: 73.59 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.82 children born/woman (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.07% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 500,000 (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths: 17,000 (1999 est.)

noun: Chinese (singular and plural)
adjective: Chinese

Ethnic groups: Han Chinese 91.9%, Zhuang, Uygur, Hui, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Manchu, Mongol, Buyi, Korean, and other nationalities 8.1%

Religions: Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Muslim 2%-3%, Christian 1% (est.)
note: officially atheist

Languages: Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)

Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 81.5%
male: 89.9%
female: 72.7% (1995 est.)


Country name:
conventional long form: People's Republic of China
conventional short form: China
local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo
local short form: Zhong Guo
abbreviation: PRC

Government type: Communist state

Capital: Beijing

Administrative divisions: 23 provinces (sheng, singular and plural), 5 autonomous regions* (zizhiqu, singular and plural), and 4 municipalities** (shi, singular and plural); Anhui, Beijing**, Chongqing**, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi*, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol*, Ningxia*, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanghai**, Shanxi, Sichuan, Tianjin**, Xinjiang*, Xizang* (Tibet), Yunnan, Zhejiang; note - China considers Taiwan its 23rd province; see separate entries for the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau

Independence: 221 BC (unification under the Qin or Ch'in Dynasty 221 BC; Qing or Ch'ing Dynasty replaced by the Republic on 12 February 1912; People's Republic established 1 October 1949)

National holiday: Founding of the People's Republic of China, 1 October (1949)

Constitution: most recent promulgation 4 December 1982
Legal system: a complex amalgam of custom and statute, largely criminal law; rudimentary civil code in effect since 1 January 1987; new legal codes in effect since 1 January 1980; continuing efforts are being made to improve civil, administrative, criminal, and commercial law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President JIANG Zemin (since 27 March 1993) and Vice President HU Jintao (since 16 March 1998)
head of government: Premier ZHU Rongji (since 18 March 1998); Vice Premiers QIAN Qichen (since 29 March 1993), LI Lanqing (29 March 1993), WU Bangguo (since 17 March 1995), and WEN Jiabao (since 18 March 1998)
cabinet: State Council appointed by the National People's Congress (NPC)
elections: president and vice president elected by the National People's Congress for five-year terms; elections last held 16-18 March 1998 (next to be held NA March 2003); premier nominated by the president, confirmed by the National People's Congress
election results: JIANG Zemin reelected president by the Ninth National People's Congress with a total of 2,882 votes (36 delegates voted against him, 29 abstained, and 32 did not vote); HU Jintao elected vice president by the Ninth National People's Congress with a total of 2,841 votes (67 delegates voted against him, 39 abstained, and 32 did not vote)

Legislative branch: unicameral National People's Congress or Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (2,979 seats; members elected by municipal, regional, and provincial people's congresses to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held NA December 1997-NA February 1998 (next to be held late 2002-NA March 2003)
election results: percent of vote - NA%; seats - NA

Judicial branch: Supreme People's Court (judges appointed by the National People's Congress); Local Peoples Courts (comprise higher, intermediate and local courts); Special Peoples Courts (primarily military, maritime, and railway transport courts)

Political parties and leaders: Chinese Communist Party or CCP [JIANG Zemin, General Secretary of the Central Committee]; eight registered small parties controlled by CCP

Political pressure groups and leaders: no substantial political opposition groups exist, although the government has identified the Falungong sect and the China Democracy Party as potential rivals

International organization participation: AfDB, APEC, ARF (dialogue partner), AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, CCC, CDB (non-regional), ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MINURSO, NAM (observer), OPCW, PCA, UN, UN Security Council, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNMEE, UNTAET, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer), ZC

Flag description: red with a large yellow five-pointed star and four smaller yellow five-pointed stars (arranged in a vertical arc toward the middle of the flag) in the upper hoist-side corner


Economy - overview: In late 1978 the Chinese leadership began moving the economy from a sluggish Soviet-style centrally planned economy to a more market-oriented system. Whereas the system operates within a political framework of strict Communist control, the economic influence of non-state managers and enterprises has been steadily increasing. The authorities have switched to a system of household responsibility in agriculture in place of the old collectivization, increased the authority of local officials and plant managers in industry, permitted a wide variety of small-scale enterprise in services and light manufacturing, and opened the economy to increased foreign trade and investment. The result has been a quadrupling of GDP since 1978. In 2000, with its 1.26 billion people but a GDP of just $3,600 per capita, China stood as the second largest economy in the world after the US (measured on a purchasing power parity basis). Agricultural output doubled in the 1980s, and industry also posted major gains, especially in coastal areas near Hong Kong and opposite Taiwan, where foreign investment helped spur output of both domestic and export goods. On the darker side, the leadership has often experienced in its hybrid system the worst results of socialism (bureaucracy and lassitude) and of capitalism (windfall gains and stepped-up inflation). Beijing thus has periodically backtracked, retightening central controls at intervals. The government has struggled to (a) collect revenues due from provinces, businesses, and individuals; (b) reduce corruption and other economic crimes; and (c) keep afloat the large state-owned enterprises many of which had been shielded from competition by subsides and had been losing the ability to pay full wages and pensions. From 80 to 120 million surplus rural workers are adrift between the villages and the cities, many subsisting through part-time low-paying jobs. Popular resistance, changes in central policy, and loss of authority by rural cadres have weakened China's population control program, which is essential to maintaining growth in living standards. Another long-term threat to continued rapid economic growth is the deterioration in the environment, notably air pollution, soil erosion, and the steady fall of the water table especially in the north. China continues to lose arable land because of erosion and economic development. Weakness in the global economy in 2001 could hamper growth in exports. Beijing will intensify efforts to stimulate growth through spending on infrastructure--such as water control and power grids--and poverty relief and through rural tax reform aimed at eliminating arbitrary local levies on farmers.

GDP: purchasing power

GDP: purchasing power parity - $4.5 trillion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 8% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $3,600 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 15%
industry: 50%
services: 35% (2000 est.)

Population below poverty line: 10% (1999 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.4%
highest 10%: 30.4% (1998)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.4% (2000 est.)

Labor force: 700 million (1998 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 50%, industry 24%, services 26% (1998)

Unemployment rate: urban unemployment roughly 10%; substantial unemployment and underemployment in rural areas (2000 est.)

revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

Industries: iron and steel, coal, machine building, armaments, textiles and apparel, petroleum, cement, chemical fertilizers, footwear, toys, food processing, automobiles, consumer electronics, telecommunications

Industrial production growth rate: 10% (2000 est.)

Electricity - production: 1.173 trillion kWh (1999)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 79.82%
hydro: 18.98%
nuclear: 1.2%
other: 0.01% (1999)

Electricity - consumption: 1.084 trillion kWh (1999)

Electricity - exports: 7.2 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity - imports: 90 million kWh (1999)

Agriculture - products: rice, wheat, potatoes, sorghum, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, cotton, oilseed; pork; fish

Exports: $232 billion (f.o.b., 2000)

Exports - commodities: machinery and equipment; textiles and clothing, footwear, toys and sporting goods; mineral fuels

Exports - partners: US 21%, Hong Kong 18%, Japan 17%, South Korea, Germany, Netherlands, UK, Singapore, Taiwan (2000)

Imports: $197 billion (f.o.b., 2000)

Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, mineral fuels, plastics, iron and steel, chemicals

Imports - partners: Japan 18%, Taiwan 11%, US 10%, South Korea 10%, Germany, Hong Kong, Russia, Malaysia (2000)

Debt - external: $162 billion (2000 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $NA

Currency: yuan (CNY)

Currency code: CNY

Exchange rates: yuan per US dollar - 8.2776 (January 2001), 8.2785 (2000), 8.2783 (1999), 8.2790 (1998), 8.2898 (1997), 8.3142 (1996)
note: beginning 1 January 1994, the People's Bank of China quotes the midpoint rate against the US dollar based on the previous day's prevailing rate in the interbank foreign exchange market

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones - main lines in use: 135 million (2000)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 65 million (January 2001)

Telephone system:
general assessment: domestic and international services are increasingly available for private use; unevenly distributed domestic system serves principal cities, industrial centers, and many towns
domestic: interprovincial fiber-optic trunk lines and cellular telephone systems have been installed; a domestic satellite system with 55 earth stations is in place
international: satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region) and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific and Indian Ocean regions); several international fiber-optic links to Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Russia, and Germany (2000)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 369, FM 259, shortwave 45 (1998)

Radios: 417 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 3,240 (of which 209 are operated by China Central Television, 31 are provincial TV stations and nearly 3,000 are local city stations) (1997)

Televisions: 400 million (1997)

Internet country code: .cn

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 3 (2000)

Internet users: 22 million (January 2001)


total: 67,524 km (including 5,400 km of provincial "local" rails)
standard gauge: 63,924 km 1.435-m gauge (13,362 km electrified; 20,250 km double track)
narrow gauge: 3,600 km 0.750-m and 1.000-m gauge local industrial lines (1998 est.)
note: a new total of 68,000 km was estimated for early 1999 to take new construction programs into account (1999)

total: 1.4 million km
paved: 271,300 km (with at least 16,000 km of expressways)
unpaved: 1,128,700 km (1999)

Waterways: 110,000 km (1999)

Pipelines: crude oil 9,070 km; petroleum products 560 km; natural gas 9,383 km (1998)

Ports and harbors: Dalian, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Haikou, Huangpu, Lianyungang, Nanjing, Nantong, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shantou, Tianjin, Xiamen, Xingang, Yantai, Zhanjiang

Merchant marine: total: 1,745 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 16,533,521 GRT/24,746,859 DWT

Ships by type: barge carrier 2, bulk 324, cargo 825, chemical tanker 21, combination bulk 11, combination ore/oil 1, container 132, liquefied gas 24, multi-functional large-load carrier 5, passenger 7, passenger/cargo 45, petroleum tanker 258, refrigerated cargo 22, roll on/roll off 23, short-sea passenger 41, specialized tanker 3, vehicle carrier 1 (2000 est.)

Airports: 489 (2000 est.)

Airports - with paved runways: total: 324
over 3,047 m: 27
2,438 to 3,047 m: 88
1,524 to 2,437 m: 147
914 to 1,523 m: 30
under 914 m: 32 (2000 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 165
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 29
914 to 1,523 m: 56
under 914 m: 78 (2000 est.)

International Affairs

from: www.sortchina.com

Disputes - international: most of boundary with India in dispute; dispute over at least two small sections of the boundary with Russia remains to be settled, despite 1997 boundary agreement; portions of the boundary with Tajikistan are indefinite; 33-km section of boundary with North Korea in the Paektu-san (mountain) area is indefinite; involved in a complex dispute over the Spratly Islands with Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and possibly Brunei; maritime boundary agreement with Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin awaits ratification; Paracel Islands occupied by China, but claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; claims Japanese-administered Senkaku-shoto (Senkaku Islands/Diaoyu Tai), as does Taiwan

Illicit drugs: major transshipment point for heroin produced in the Golden Triangle; growing domestic drug abuse problem; source country for chemical precursors and methamphetamine

VISA TO CHINA (tourism / employment visa information)

VISA TO CHINA (tourism / employment visa information)


What do you need before your travel to China?

All travelers to China are required to hold a valid visa. If travel in group, the visa will

be kept by the accompanying guide and for individual traveler, visa, which is insert into

the passport, should be kept by himself.

Passports are also needed as it will be the prime means of identification. You will have to

show them when you cash travelers checks, make plane or train reservations, exchange money

or establish the holder's identity.

A Brief Introduction to Chinese Visa

Chinese visa is a permit issued by the Chinese visa authorities to those foreigners who

want to enter into, exit from or transit through the Chinese territory. According to the

applicants' identity, visiting purpose and passport type, the Chinese visa falls into four

categories, namely, diplomatic, courtesy, service and ordinary visas.

The ordinary visa consists of nine sub-categories, which are respectively marked with

Chinese phonetic letters F, L, Z, X, C, J-1, J-2, G, and D.

Visit / Business Visa (F): Issued to those foreigners who are invited to China for visit,

research, lecture, business, scientific-technological and cultural exchanges or short-term

advanced studies or intern practice for a period of less than six months.

Tourism Visa (L): Issued to those who enter China temporarily for touring, family visiting

or other personal affairs (multiple-entry is not granted for this category).

Working Visa (Z): Issued to foreigners who are to take up a post or employment in China,

and their accompanying family members.

Study / Student Visa (X): Issued to those who come to China for study or intern practice

for a period of six months or above.

Crewmember Visa (C): Issued to crewmembers on international aviation, navigation and land

transportation missions and their accompanying family members.

Journalist Visa (J-1): This visa is for journalists who are posted to China for at least

one year.

Journalist Visa (J-2): Issued to foreign correspondents on temporary interview mission in


Transit Visa (G): Issued to those who transit through China.

Residence Visa (D): Issued to people who are going to live in China permanently.

The Chinese visa authorities overseas include Chinese embassies, consulates, visa offices,

and the consular department of the office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign

Affairs of China. If a foreigner intends to enter into, exit from or transit through the

Chinese territory, he shall apply to the above-mentioned Chinese visa authorities for a

Chinese visa. For further information, please consult the nearest Chinese visa authorities.

Detailed information of Chinese visa

Visa Categories Entries of Visas Validity Duration of Stay
Journalist Visa (J-1) Single 3 months /
Journalist Visa (J-2) Single / /
Study / Student Visa (X) Single 3 months /
Residence Visa (D) Single 3 months /
Tourist Visa (L) Single / Double 3 months 1-60 days
Crewmember Visa (C) Single / Double 3 months 1- 30 days
Transit Visa (G) Single / Double 3 months 7 days
Visit / Business Visa (F)Single/Double/Multiple 3 months 6/12 mts 1-dys

The following notes are offered as a general guide in order to assist you to understand the

passport and visa requirements. Should you require any further information, we recommend

that you contact the Chinese Embassy or the Chinese Consulate in your country of domicile.

General Requirements for Applying for a Chinese Visa:

1. A completed Visa Application Form. Forms can be obtained from the local Chinese Embassy

or Consulate or downloaded from their official websites.
2. Two 2" X 2" passport photos showing applicant's full front face.
3. Current Passport that is valid for a minimum of six months from the date of travel. The

passport must also have a more than two blank visa pages.
4. Submitting documents which explain one's reasons to enter China.

Requirements applicable to the 9 different classes of Visa

Visa D: Permanent Residence Visa
A permanent residence confirmation form is required. This can be obtained by the applicant

direct or through his/her designated relatives in China from the exit and entry department

of the public security bureau in the city or county in which the applicant wishes to


Visa Z: Working Visa
Foreign applicants wishing to take up employment in the PRC are required to obtain an

Employment Licence from either their proposed employer in China or from the provincial or

municipal labor authority. A visa notification letter or a telegram issued by an authorised

organization or company as appropriate should accompany this document.

Visa X: Students Visa
Certificates from the receiving unit and competent authority concerned are required. These

comprise JW-201 or JW_202 form issued by the Ministry of Education of China and a letter of

admission from a Chinese University / College.

Visa F: Visit/Business Visa
The invitation letter from the inviting unit or a visa notification letter/telegram from

the authorised unit is required.

Visa L: Tourism Visa.
In principle a tourist must be able to demonstrate the ability to finance all of his/her

expenses whilst in China. It is also necessary to produce evidence of exit travel

arrangements in the form of air, rail or ship tickets for the onward/return journey to the

appropriate destination.
Applicants who are intending to stay with relatives in China will be required to show an

invitation letter from such relatives by way of confirmation.

Visa G: Transit Visa
When arrangements have been made to continue foreign travel applicants must be able to

produce the necessary visas and/or travel permits that are required by the country to which

they will travel upon leaving China.

Visa C: Crewmember Visa
Applicants must produce relevant documents in accordance with bilateral agreements or

regulations stipulated on the Chinese side.

Visa J-1 and J-2: Journalist Visa
Applicants for these classes of visa are required to produce a certificate issued by the

competent Chinese authorities.
Besides providing the above-mentioned documents, an applicant is also required to answer

relevant questions and go through the following formalities (with the exception of those

stipulated otherwise by agreements):

Providing valid passport or a travel document in lieu of the passport

Filling out a visa application form, and providing a recent 2-inch, bareheaded and full-

faced passport photo.

General Notes:

It is vital that you have the necessary documents with you when you travel to China

otherwise entry will be denied.

Fees for Visas can vary from one country to another but details can be obtained from the

web site of the Chinese Embassy in your country.

Overseas Visa Authorities are: Chinese Embassies, consulates, visa offices, the consular

department of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in HKSAR

and other agencies abroad authorised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China.

All foreigners intending to enter into, exit from or transit through Chinese Territory must

have a valid visa. For further information please consult your nearest China Visa


Visa validity: A single or double entry visa is normally valid for three months form the

date of issue. Multi-entry visas can be valid for either six months, one year, or two to

five years.

Duration of stay/number of entries: Duration may vary and it is possible to extend the

period of your stay when appropriate. It should be noted that entry into China from Hong

Kong or Macao is subject to a special permit.

Passport requirements:

A) There must be at least one totally blank page in the passport. Pages for endorsements or

amendments cannot be used as a visa page.
B) Single or double entry visa requires a passport valid for at least 6 months. For

multiple entry visas, a passport should be valid for at least 9 Months.
Accompanying person using the same passport
The photo of the accompanying person using the same passport should be affixed to the form.

The full visa fee will apply.

How to apply for your Visa:

Applicants should come in person or through a third party (e.g. Travel Agent or Tour

Operator) to apply for the Chinese visa during office hours 9 -12 am in Chinese Embassy /

Chinese Consulates-General in the country you live.
Usually, the processing time is about 5- 7 working days.

Applications by Mail: It takes 2 weeks to process the application, so there is no same day

or express day service. It is advised that your passport(s) should be sent by registered

post for security and proof of posting needs to be kept. Please enclose a self-addressed

envelope, the visa application form and payment (visa fee and service fee---see item: visa


You should send a stamped, self-addressed envelope with your application together with the

appropriate fee.

How to apply for a tourist visa?

Traveling in China requires a tourism visa (L). L Visa is sub-divided into two kinds: group

visa and individual visa. If you are a part of a group, the tour operator will often obtain

it. Group visas will usually be issued for groups with at least 5, and the guide

accompanying your group will keep the visas.

An Individual traveler can apply for one at any Chinese embassy or consulates, and the

procedure is usually straightforward. China has its embassies and consulates in most

western and many other countries. You can either get an application form in person at the

embassy or consulate or download one by visiting the website of Chinese embassies in the

foreign countries.

After fully and accurately completed your application, you submit it to the nearest Chinese

consulate and embassies, either in person or by mail. A standard 30-day, single-entry visa

from most Chinese embassies abroad can be issued in three to five working days. Rush

processing of 24 hours issue or same-day is also available (additional Embassy fee


When apply for a tourism visa, some extra documents are required sometimes besides the

basic general requirements:

1) For individual tourism visa, a letter of confirmation of the tour arrangement made by a

travel agency in China or letter of reservation of hotel in China is required.
2) For group tourist visas, a confirmation letter from a provincial tourist bureau or a

government-authorized Chinese travel agency; a name list of the whole group in triplicate

and one copy of the information page of each passport are required.

Foreigners from countries which have visa agreements with China are treated in accordance

with these agreements.

Visitors who want to Tibet need to acquire the consent of the Tourism Administration of the

Tibet Autonomous Region or any one of its foreign representative offices.

Foreigners requesting to visit Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Xiamen and other Special Economic Zones

may apply directly to visa authorities in these zones for tourist visas. Foreign tourist

groups from Hong Kong for a 72-hour visit to the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone are exempt

from entry visas.

Tourist visas are usually valid for three months, but can be extended for an extra month at

the Foreigners Section of the Public Security Bureau. Passports must be valid for at least

six months before you travel to China.

Extension of Visa

Foreigners who want to stay in China beyond what their current visa allow need to apply for

an extension to their visa with appropriate reasons.

The extension application should be made at the municipal public security bureau 7 days

before the visa expires. Multiple visas cannot be extended.

Foreigners who wish to apply for extension or alteration of visas or certificates need to

provided the relevant documents:

1) A valid passport and visa as well as the documents regarding accommodation registration
2) An fully completed application form for extension or alternation
3) Documents and papers supporting reasons for extension or alternation

The duration of visa extension:

1) F Visa: the total extensions add up to no more than 1 year and each extension should be

less than 3 months
2) L Visa: The L visa held by visitors could be extended once with the duration no more

than 1 month; L visa held by family visitors could be extended three times with each

duration under 3 months
3) C Visa: C visa only could be extended once with the total duration less than 7 days

Foreigners who are disallowed to extend:
1) Foreigners whose duration of stay is shortened and those whose residence right are

2) Individual travelers who have no sufficient traveling expenses
3) Family visitors who has no special reason for extension when their visa expires