Sad but very real: the role that geopolitics plays in inhibiting travel worldwide.
China has introduced a visa waiver scheme covering many countries including most of Europe. However, one country not included in this list is Norway. This is seen as a deliberate snub because the Norwegian parliament played a role in the selection of Chinese dissident Liu Xiabao for the Nobel Peace Prize of 2011.
Although the prize is determined independently by the Nobel committee, the Norwegian parliament plays a role in the nominations. After Liu got the prize, an angry China said Norway had hurt Chinese people’ feelings.
The new scheme allows a visitor to stay in China for 72 hours without visa, huge boost to business travelers to Beijing.
FT: When asked why Norway was left off the list, Wang Qin, a senior official at the Beijing government travel administration, did not respond directly but said that some countries were not eligible because their citizens or government were “of low-quality” and “badly behaved”.