Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced this Tuesday that Taiwan will be included in the US visa-waiver program from Nov. 1, which allows Taiwanese to travel to the US for business or tourism for up to 90 days without having to apply for a visa. The news is surely greatly welcomed in Taiwan, but when mainlanders in China heard the news, they grew all bitter and started to complain about how shitty the Chinese passport is.
Exactly how bad is a Chinese passport? Netizen 风之子 had it summarized: “After visiting all the countries that allow Taiwanese to travel without a visa, one becomes a true traveler. After visiting all the countries that allow Chinese to travel without a visa, one becomes an explorer?” Why so ? Because most of the countries that allow Chinese visa-free trips are either in Africa or never-heard-of and hard-to-find-on-maps tiny islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. What’s worse, many of these countries are either rampant with diseases or civil wars. It takes a real explorer to visit all of these countries (click here for a full list).
According to the Henley Visa Restriction Index 2012, China ranked the 92nd out of 103 countries, only above Iran, Nepal, Lebanon, Pakistan and Afghanistan. No mainlander is surprised because they even need to apply for special visa to go to Macao and Hong Kong, China’s own territories.
2012 map of visa-free countries for an ordinary Chinese citizen from Wiki
This isn’t the first time when netizens in China complained about the limited use of a Chinese passport, but the fact that Taiwan, a province of China rather than an independent nation in the eyes of most Chinese, enjoys much less visa restrictions than China does touched the nerves of many. It’s much more about a bit more freedom of traveling.
Netizen 臭臭要去里約熱内卢 commented: “Inclusion in visa-wavier programs means recognition, not of a nation’s economic power, but of the livelihood and quality of its people.” 假装在西安 shared the same view: “A Chinese passport is one of the shittiest passports on earth. Nothing shows a country’s status on the international stage better than this.”
Logically, the next question is why a Chinese passport has so little privilege? Like many netizens asked, “Don’t these countries know that Chinese consumers like to spend? Don’t they want money?” Indeed, it’s no news that Chinese tourists are the biggest luxury spenders whenever they go, but like netizen 澹台义彦 commented: “The privileges a Chinese passport enjoys are non-comparable to the buying power of Chinese consumers.” To answer the question, 不爱狼羊的女妖 had a hypothesis: “Chinese passports can travel around the world only when the Chinese people who land on foreign lands won’t stay illegally.”