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U.S. and China Bid for Tourism With Expanded Visa Deal

中美将互发最长达十年的入境签证.jpg

Americans studying and working in China have welcomed the announcement that, starting Wednesday, both China and the United States will begin offering each other’s citizens multiple-entry visas of up to 10 years.

在中国学习和工作的美国人对一则通告表示了欢迎。通告中称,从周三开始,中国和美国将开始向对方的公民发放有效期最长可达十年的多次入境签证。

President Obama announced the agreement in a speech Monday evening at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting, saying that students could receive five-year visas, while tourists and business travelers could be granted 10-year visas.

奥巴马周一傍晚在亚太经济合作组织的峰会上发表讲话时宣布了这一协议,称学生将获得有效期为五年的签证,而以旅游和商务出行为目的的人,则可以获得十年期签证。

“I’m happy for it because I definitely plan on being here for longer than one year,” said Kyle Obermann, 22, from Austin, Tex., who is studying Chinese at Peking University in Beijing. “It’ll be nice to not worry about the housing permit and red tape and paying fees in just a one-year limit.”

“我对这个消息感到很开心,因为我打算待在这里的时间肯定不止一年,”来自德克萨斯州奥斯汀的凯尔·奥伯曼说。“太好了,不用担心刚过一年就又要办居留证、走繁琐的程序、交钱了。”奥伯曼今年22岁,正在北京大学学习汉语。

The visa agreement represents an attempt by the United States and China to advance cultural exchanges and to benefit both of their economies by easing the flow of trade and investment. Previously, Chinese and American travelers usually were limited to one-year visas.

这项签证协议是美国和中国通过为贸易和投资流动提供便利,来推动文化交流、促进两国经济发展的一次尝试。之前,申请前往对方国家的中国人和美国人通常只能获得一年期签证。

In his speech, Mr. Obama cited the 1.8 million Chinese who visited the United States last year and contributed $21 billion and 100,000 jobs to the American economy.

在讲话中,奥巴马称去年有180万中国人前往美国,为美国经济贡献了210亿美元和10万个工作岗位。

“This agreement could help us more than quadruple those numbers,” Mr. Obama said, shortly before the White House released a statement forecasting that by 2021, Chinese travelers to the United States will bring in an estimated $85 billion a year.

“这项协议可以帮助我们把这些数字翻两番,”奥巴马说。随后不久,白宫发表的一份声明预测称,到2021年,赴美的中国人每年预计会带来850亿美元。

The announcement came as Chinese interest in traveling to the United States is at an all-time high. Chinese tourists contributed $9.8 billion in 2013 to the United States economy, according to Brand USA, an initiative established under the 2009 Trade Promotion Act to promote tourism to the United States. The primary reasons for Chinese travel are holidays or to visit a relative or friend, and the leading destinations are California and New York.

这份通告发布之际,中国人对前往美国的兴趣也空前高涨。“品牌美国”的数据显示,2013年,中国游客为美国经济贡献了98亿美元。“品牌美国”是依据2009年《贸易促进法案》启动的一个项目,目的是促进赴美旅游。中国人赴美的主要原因是度假或探亲访友,主要目的地是加利福尼亚和纽约。

Forecasts for tourism to China are less rosy. According to a study published by Travel China Guide, a leading online tour operations company in China, there were 3.1 million visits by Americans to China last year on tourist visas, making up 11.8 percent of tourists. That ranked them third after visitors from Asia and Europe.

对来华旅游的预测则没有那么乐观。去年,来华旅游的外国游客人次同比下降3.3%。造成游客人次减少的原因包括全球经济停滞不前、人民币升值,以及有关中国环境污染的报道。中国领先的在线旅行社“旅游中国指南”发布的一项研究表明,去年有310万美国人持旅游签证前往中国,占全部外国游客人数的11.8%。

Still, the new visa regulations have the potential of attracting more Americans to China.

然而,新的签证规定可能会吸引更多美国人前往中国。

“The new policy will make a lot of things easier, and help people avoid some troublesome aspects of getting a work permit,” said Amber James, 24, from West Palm Beach, Fla., who is a counselor at Elite Scholars China, an organization in Beijing that prepares Chinese high school students for admission to American colleges. “If I’m going to be in China long term, this is an avenue I’d definitely go.”

“新政策会让很多事变得更容易,帮人避免了在获取工作许可证时,可能遇到的一些麻烦,”24岁的安贝尔·詹姆斯说。她来自佛罗里达州西棕榈滩,目前在北京名为“中国精英学者”的一家机构担任顾问。该机构的业务是指导中国高中生申请美国大学。“我会长期待在中国,我肯定会申请这种签证。”

2016-06-23

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