China, Australia issue five-year visas for citizens

China and Australia will provide each other's citizens with multiple-entry visas of up to five years for tourism and business, the Chinese foreign ministry says, in another sign of improving ties between the two countries.

The visa arrangement starting on Friday follows a milestone trip by China's Premier Li Qiang to Australia this week that marked a stabilisation in bilateral relations after a period of frosty ties.

Previously, Chinese citizens could apply for visas of up to one year to visit Australia, or up to 10 years for frequent travellers.

Since 2023, China has been easing entry requirements for visitors from some countries to facilitate travel for business and pleasure, following three years of harsh COVID-19 restrictions that had largely shut its international borders.

During Li's trip to Australia, he said China would also include Australia in its visa-waiver scheme, allowing Australians to visit the country for up to 15 days without a visa.