URUMQI, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) — Sixteen Kazakh nationals aboard flight CZ6012 enjoyed visa-free treatment as they arrived in Urumqi, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Friday.
The passengers went through the border checkpoint without any visa documentation, being the first batch of Kazakh nationals arriving at the airport under the China-Kazakhstan visa-free agreement that took effect Friday, said local border inspection station.
The plane took off from Kazakhstan’s Almaty International Airport and arrived at the Urumqi Diwopu International Airport at around 0 a.m. on Friday.
Starting from Friday, Chinese and Kazakh citizens will be allowed to stay in each other’s country for no more than 30 days for single crossing and stay 90 days as part of a 180-day visa-free period, according to the visa-free agreement.
“Now, to fly from Kazakhstan to China, an airline ticket and a passport are all that you need,” said Adelina Ashimova, a Kazakh passenger, “The customs entry in Urumqi is very fast and efficient.”
According to data from Urumqi Diwopu International Airport, after the official implementation of the visa-free agreement, the number of international flights between Kazakhstan and Urumqi will reach up to six a day.
“The mutual visa exemption between China and Kazakhstan reflects the high degree of mutual trust between the two countries. It is also convenient for Kazakh tourists, businessmen and students coming to China, and residents of the two countries will have more frequent exchanges,” said Kazakh passenger Adil Kaukenov.
To facilitate passenger travel between China and Kazakhstan, a passenger bus service connecting Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, and Almaty, the largest city of Kazakhstan, was launched on Nov. 3.
Xinjiang will launch four more international passenger bus routes from Urumqi, with destinations including Semipalatinsk, according to the regional department of transport.