Starting this Saturday, non-residents will be able to stay in China for a whole six days without a visa, according to a ruling by China's Ministry of Public Security.
The policy decrees that foreigners entering China via Shanghai, Hangzhou (Xiaoshan International Airport), Nanjing (Lukou International Airport) can take advantage of the new 144-hour visa scheme, providing they're transiting to another country afterwards. They can also depart China from any of these ports of entry.
Oh, but you have to be from one of the following 51 countries:
Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden. Switzerland, UAE, UK, Ukraine, US
The current regulations state that 17 cities across China can allow foreign visitors visa-free access for up to 72 hours, providing that they're transiting through China on their way to a third country. The extension of this visa-free transit time throughout Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu is the first of its kind in China and suggests the government is employing new tactics to attract tourists back to China, after experiencing yet another year of declining inbound tourism.
>So I'm planning on using the trans siberian railroad and finishing in Beijing. So if I do that I only got three days to fuck around? That is lame
Assuming you're heading into Beijing from Vladivostok by rail, no, you don't even have three days. The 72hr program is only valid if you're entering Beijing by air. You'll need to buy a visa anyway.
South African passports get fucked again for no reason. We can travel visa free to Hong Kong, Ireland, Singapore, New Zealand, all of South America etc. but we can't be trusted on mainland China. So much for BRICS!
it's not about money. it's about whether you will commit crime.
south africa has one of the highest rape and murder rates in the world. and there are plenty of them in guangzhou, and the ones in guangzhou DO murder and rape.
so you know what, blacks can stay out
I would not trust that this new policy gets quickly & effectively communicated to all the people who need to know.
I remember when I was living there and this was first introduced for 3 days for Beijing. I heard from a friend about a German guy & his kid who had tried to take advantage of the new rule but were told at the airport that they need visas. You could find that this was wrong with one Internet search but still, they ended up being detained for 12 hours (probably cos the guy who originally said no didn't want to lose face for admitting his mistake and then the others got offended by the German's frustrated incredulity). I think they were allowed out in the end, though.
Second: when you check in to a hotel in China, as a foreigner, they want your passport every time. They will photocopy the photo page, visa page and often some or all of the stamps you have for coming in and out of the country. It's a police state, go figure. Anyway, the hotels who know how to behave professionally when dealing with foreigners (usually higher end and/or Western owned in the bigger cities) will probably have someone who knows the new rules and you would probably be okay with minimal hassle. But if you are staying at a cheap ho(s)tel, you will be dealing with staff who work for a Dollar an hour and aren't exactly motivated to keep up with industry publications. It is quite possible (I would say likely) that many of these places won't know about the rule change for a while, and even if they do may simply just "play it safe" and refuse you anyway.
Same with unlikely but possible events that may require use of passport like emergency money transfers or dealing with police... you may end up wasting a lot of time.
There is a lot of potential for this to not be plain-sailing at first and if you're smart, don't make yourself a guinea pig for this.
Still worth taking a look at China, though.