The suspension of all flights to and from China was announced on January 12th. The reason given was the construction of the disputed islands in the South Sea. The two countries have been involved in a long history since ancient times. They have had warring between each other many times. China’s recent rise to economic power has also opened up its door to foreign trade. Now, if you are thinking about traveling to China, here are some things you need to know.
There are several reasons why Chinese authorities announced the suspension of all flights to and from China. The first one is related to visa restrictions. Many foreign travelers originating from western countries have to obtain a visa before traveling to China.
The reasons for this move by the authorities in China are not yet known. However, the people who frequent the country said that the reason was very likely related to the agreement reached between the two countries on trade. When the two countries signed the General Agreement on Economic Co- Operatives, or Gao Ping, in 1994, it covered foreign direct investment. That means, businessmen who wanted to start businesses in China had to get approval from the Chinese government first. For this purpose, the government imposed tough measures to curb the growth of foreign investment in the country. Some people compare the implementation of these laws to the suspension of flights from and to Hong Kong and Macau.
On Jan. 14th, just a day before the suspension of flights to and from China, the foreign minister of the Philippines, Joseph S. Diwak met with his counterpart, the prime minister of China, Li Yueting, in China. During their meeting, the two Chinese officials informed each other that they have reached an understanding with regards to the issues concerning the Visiting Chinese in China. According to the Chinese authorities, the reason for the visit by the foreign officials was the implementation of the Gao Ping agreement. They also confirmed that the reason why the foreign representatives were refused entry into China was because of their failure to comply with the basic Chinese public security bureau requirements for entering the country. In other words, the Chinese authorities did not allow the foreigners to travel to China according to the terms of the Gao Ping document.
The Gao Ping agreement allows the free movement of persons within the Chinese territory, which includes Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. On Jan. 14th, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that they will be implementing a nationwide travel restriction, which is imposed by the State-owned travel agency booking system, according to the law of China. The restriction will include booking by foreign nationals of certain state-owned travel agencies operating within China. Another interesting aspect about this travel restriction is the use of the term “Chinese” rather than” foreigner.” This is very important as some travel agencies are using the term “Chinese” to book flight tickets for visitors coming from abroad to China.
The travel history of the Chinese people can be traced back to more than three thousand years. According to official Chinese records, the people first arrived in China during the Shang dynasty. Some migration events took place along the Yellow River which flowed through Khotan, afterwards it flowed into the Southern Song Dynasty. At that time, there were many powerful states in China including the Jiu tribe who controlled the northern part of China. These tribes later merged to form the Five Civilizations in the Chinese history. Finally, after the unification, there were different parts of China like Northern, Southern, and Middle Regions all having their own distinctive characteristics.
If you wish to travel to China, then you have to plan ahead as to how you can conform to Chinese immigration and cultural standards. Since Chinese people are considered as one of the most vulnerable minorities in the world, they have to face much pressure when it comes to accepting foreigners into their country. In order to save themselves from possible violence and discrimination, most Chinese citizens strictly observe their national culture and norms. Even if a foreigner has been granted permission to enter China, it is up to them to practice the same Chinese etiquette so as not to be rejected for entry. For example, before entering China, tourists have to first register in China’s border crossings, and they are required to pay the necessary bribes.
The best way for foreigners to get through the China customs and immigration is by securing their exit and entrance at the same time. Most foreigners fail to do this, and get stuck at a point in China’s international airport where they cannot get out. In such cases, they will be required to stay at the immigration checkpoint for at least two to three hours before they are given clearance to proceed to their intended destination. In order to avoid getting stuck at a point in China’s airport, it is advisable for tourists to bring their passport visa along with them. When clearing the immigration checkpoint, it is important to hand over your passport to the officer at the security checkpoint, as they will be able to check your documents against the passport stamp in your passport.