China is allowing travellers from 53 countries to visit Beijing and the surrounding areas including Tianjin and the Hebei Province without a visa for 6 days, provided that they are stopping over on their way to a third country.
The 53 countries include the UK, all EU countries, the US, Canada, Russia, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and many more – They must be hoping that a lot of well off people from those countries spend a small fortune shopping while they are passing by. To make things even better, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are considered third countries by the government’s definition.
If you qualify for this programme, all you have to do is to fill in another form with your Arrival Card upon arrival by plane, train or boat. If you arrive by air, the authorities can even hold on to your luggage while you are visiting the city! Of course, you will also be entitled to a Sales Tax Refund.
I expect Air China to benefit the most from this arrangement since their main hub is in Beijing and they have an extensive worldwide network.