YEREVAN — Armenian government on Thursday approved the proposal on mutual removal of visa requirements with China.

Armenian and Chinese citizens will be able stay, travel or use countries’ territories for transit purposes for 90 days in 180-day period without a visa, deputy foreign minister Grigor Hovhannisyan informed during the Armneian Cabinet session. He said it also commits the two states to quickly deporting travelers “abusing” the new rules.

“The signing of the agreement is expected to lead to more active commercial, business and tourism contacts between the two countries and a more effective use of the potential existing in this area,” added Hovannisian.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pahsinyan, in his turn, said that the agreement about lifting visas was reached during his recent visit to Beijing.

“We hope that it will invigorate relations between our countries and Armenia’s citizens will be able to visit China without obstacles,” he told the weekly cabinet meeting in Yerevan.

According to Pahsinyan, the Chinese side informed that the draft agreement had already passed all the necessary procedures and is ready for signing. He informed that the document is planned to be signed during Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s upcoming visit to Yerevan.

Some 8,500 Chinese citizens visited Armenia in 2018, according to national statistical committee of Armenia.

China is Armenia’s second largest trading partner. According to official Armenian statistics, Chinese-Armenian trade soared by over 29 percent in 2018, to $771 million.

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