Ending the speculations around E-Tourist Visa for Chinese Nationals, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is currently on a China visit, announced grant of online ETA facility for Chinese. During his address to the students of Tsinghua University, he said, “We have decided to extend electronic tourist visas to Chinese nationals.”
The Times of India reported PM Modi saying, “So, we have decided to extend electronic tourist visas to Chinese nationals. We are celebrating the Year of India in China in 2015.”
The crowd cheered and applauded and thanked PM Modi for the gesture. However, back home in India, the move drew criticism from various political parties and security agencies.
Though offering E-Visa facility for Chinese nationals was in news for some time, the chances seemed really bleak. The Indian intelligence agencies were not in favour of extending the facility citing possible misuse.
And even few hours before PM Modi addressed the gathering at Tsinghua University, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar was reported saying, “no decision has been taken yet.”
But at the end allowing Chinese nationals to visit India using E-Tourist Visa would mean an increase in tourist numbers from the neighboring country. And it also means improvement of ties and large scale Chinese investments in the long-run.
Over 100 million Chinese nationals visited abroad in 2014 and spent billions of dollars. The tourist count to India was however less compared to many other nations.
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