Even though Russians can travel to around 110 countries either visa-free or on a visa on arrival basis, the visa wall between Russia and China still stands strong. Even though both the governments haven’t addressed the issue, there is no way Chinese authorities have any intention of changing visa regulations for Russian. The West feels that the visa wall is because interests of the two countries don’t go hand in hand and that China is a threat to Russia.
However, the truth is very different because Russians never invaded China, nor do they plan to do so. One of the reasons China doesn’t want to make any visa changes because not many Chinese people are interested in visiting Russia or living there permanently. Only a few students and travelers visit Russia, with no intention of staying there permanently. Russia has around 40,000 Chinese residents, but that is very unlikely to increase any time soon. People migrate to seek a better life, and that’s not what they will get in the Far East. The top three things people want is good climate, good income, and good quality of life.
So, will abolishing visa help China and Russia? First of all, it will make the two countries look like they are friends and not potential threats to each other. Even though it might not immediately increase intercountry investments, it will definitely help in the long run. Visa-free travel is a strong incentive for boosting tourism, which nowadays has become one of the most revenue earning sector for the national economy.
Help other countries
If Russia and China permit visa-free travel, it will give out a strong message to countries like Japan that who have closely followed their relationship will give up and try making things better with Russia. It will make Putin’s 2012 statement come true – catch the Chinese wind in the sails of the Russian economy.