Divers perform an underwater dragon dance at an aquarium in Singapore on Jan 25. ROSLAN RAHMAN/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
China and Singapore on Jan 25 signed an agreement on mutual visa exemption in Beijing, which allows the holders of ordinary passports stays of up to 30 days.
The agreement will take effect on Feb 9, the Chinese New Year's Eve.
The visa exemption applies for tourists, and those visiting family members or for business, according to the agreement.
China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a news conference that the agreement is "a Chinese New Year gift for people of both countries".
"The agreement will surely further enhance people-to-people exchanges between China and Singapore, and promote the progress of bilateral ties and cooperation in various fields," Wang said.
Singapore has gained increasing popularity among Chinese tourists during the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday, according to Ctrip, a Chinese online travel agency.
According to the agency's statistics, the bookings for people traveling from China to Singapore during the Spring Festival holiday have seen a 14-fold increase year-on-year by Jan 24.
Malaysia and China granted visa-free entry to each other's citizens in December.
Earlier this month, China said it would implement a unilateral visa-free entry for those holding Ireland and Switzerland passports.
Wu Xi, head of the Department of Consular Affairs of China's Foreign Ministry, said China has shown its resolve to promote the high-level opening-up by adopting a series of measures to facilitate cross-border travel.
"We welcome friends from countries across the world to come to China for travel, business, investment and study," Wu said during an interview with China Media Group.
China has enjoyed comprehensive mutual visa exemption with 22 countries, including Singapore, the Maldives and Kazakhstan.
Wu said she hopes Chinese and foreign visitors will maintain the order of cross-border travel by respecting the laws and regulations of the countries they are traveling to and bilateral agreements signed between China and other countries.
China now enjoys comprehensive mutual visa exemption with 23 countries after reaching an agreement on mutual visa exemption with Thailand on Jan 28.
China and Thailand signed an agreement on mutual visa exemption for holders of ordinary passports and passports for public affairs on Jan 28.