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China and U.S. Open Door Farther to Tourists, Students, Businesspeople

China and U.S. Open Door Farther to Tourists, Students, Businesspeople
Photograph by Kim Kyung-Hoon/AFP via Getty Images

Amidst the pomp and flash of red carpet airport welcomes, a banquet with a cultural show and elaborate fireworks display, and meetings by heads of state came a more quotidian announcement: China and the U.S. will expand the duration of visas each country grants the other, president Barack Obama announced in a speech to the world leaders attending the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

Don’t be fooled by what sounds like a low-level border control issue. Starting on Wednesday, business, student, and tourist visas that previously had to be renewed yearly will be extended, with students given five-year terms and business visas good for a decade.