Opening Chengdu Becomes More International

Authors: Go Chengdu

2016-07-23

Strolling on the streets in downtown Chengdu, you can feel and enjoy an atmosphere of modernity and vitality everywhere. In the hustling and bustling CBDs like Chunxi Road and cultural blocks like Wide & Narrow Alleys, it is a common sight that hordes of foreigners, with great curiosity and interest, explore the city’s culture and experience local people’s life.
Attractions, shopping centers, restaurants and pubs, tea-houses——visitors can enjoy everything they want including sightseeing, shopping and nightlife.
As an important city linking the "Road and Belt Initiative" (the "Silk Road Economic Belt" and the "21st Century Maritime Silk Road") and the Yangtze River Economic Zone, Chengdu is speeding up its pace of building itself into a national major city in China. Blessed with a favorable geographical and regional location, it is becoming an international metropolis. So far, the city has established a sister-city relationship with 31 cities around the world, among which many are well-known cities in the G20 member countries.
Chengdu is the first city in western China offering 72-hour visa-free stays to international transit passengers. Any visitor from 51 countries including the US, Japan, Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Canada or Russia, etc. who has a third country's visa and an onward air ticket to leave for a third country or region within 72 hours can stay in Chengdu for 72 hours. In addition, Chengdu has started a Living in Chengdu Program to provide better living and working environment for foreigners in Chengdu. Over the recent years, the number of international air routes between Chengdu and other cities across the globe has been increasing fast. So far, 89 international (regional) routes have been open with 74 international (regional) destinations. With the city's accelerating pace of globalization and launch of the Chengdu-Europe Express Rail Cargo Service, Chengdu has become the forefront in western China to open up to the outside world.
Chengdu has implemented a 72-hour Visa-free Transit Policy since Sept. 1, 2013, and becomes the fourth city in China, after Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, to offer the 72-hour visa-free stays to foreign transit passengers.
The 72-hour Visa-free Transit Policy has significantly helped the city develop its culture, tourism, commerce and air traffic.
The Living in Chengdu Program for foreigners is regarded as a highly essential move for the city to become an international metropolis. Aimed to offer better public services and natural and human environment to foreign nationals living in the city, the program involves all work on release of public information and foreigner-oriented public services.
The Living in Chengdu Program is highly praised by the U.S. Consul General in Chengdu Raymond Greene, "it will bring lots of conveniences to foreigners and it is really a great job." Australian Consul General in Chengdu Nancy Gordon said, "It is very helpful for foreigners to live and work in Chengdu". Consular officers from several countries in Chengdu also expressed high expectations for the program.
Chengdu has established a sister-city relationship with 31 cities across the globe including Phoenix, Honolulu, Bonn, Montpellier, Perth, etc., of which some are from the G20 members.
With the furthering cooperation and exchanges between Chengdu and its sister cities, the city has launched lots of initiatives and programs to expand the ties, including hosting the Chengdu International Youth Music Festival and offering scholarships for international students and civil servants from the sister cities.
Montpellier became Chengdu's sister city in 1981, and it is the first French city to establish such friendly relationship with Chengdu. Since 2012, both parties have set up sister schools in each other's cities.

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