When you start poking poking your pussy cat too much, it’ll bite, scratch or somehow retaliate. So, is the recent revoke of visa-free privileges a reaction to what happened in Singapore? Is it because Singapore is still having military cooperation with Taiwan? Is it because Singapore has somehow offended China in some political red tape? Or does it have anything to do with the jailed journalist?

No lah… apparently there’s speculation that it’s probably due to the China Beijing Olympics and they probably want to know who’s coming to watch them. For a start, however, they are just revoking the multi-visit visa, but Singaporeans are still allowed in for 14 days visa-free. Come 1st June 2008, all Singaporeans will require a visa to go to China.

Hmm… do I have to apply for a visa for Hong Kong then?

SINGAPOREANS planning to visit China multiple times within a short period will have to hold off their trips for a while.

The Chinese government has stopped issuing multiple-entry visas to foreigners since end March.

And although Singaporeans can still visit China for up to 14 days without a visa for business, holidays, visiting relatives and friends or transit, this may all change.

From July 1, Singaporeans will need a valid visa to enter China – but this requirement is only temporary, according to the China Embassy website on visa information.

Travel agencies said the Chinese Embassy in Singapore have sent letters to them stating that multiple-entry visas will cease until further notice.

While no reason was given, they believe the move was due to the upcoming Beijing Olympics, and the prevailing unrest in Tibet.

But single-entry and double-entry visas are still available.

Some agencies have reported cancellation of planned holidays to China or travellers changing their trips to other destinations.

Ms Ruth Lim, manager of marketing and communications at SA Tours, told The Straits Times the fallout is between 5 and 10 per cent.

Travel agents say the restricted multiple entries into China may not affect holiday-makers, but it might have an impact on people travelling in and out of the country regularly on business.

Multinational corporations said the new move will not affect their operations in China as their executives are usually stationed there on long-term postings, with work permits lasting up to a year.

Work permits are not affected by the latest change.

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 17th April 2008

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