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Sino-Russian border city to offer visa-free stays

The Sino-Russian border city of Suifenhe in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province will launch a visa-free stay policy for Russians from December, the local government said.

Russian people who hold valid passports will be able to enter Suifenhe's main urban area, or the border trade district, without a visa for possibly up to 15 days. Detailed plans are set to be published.

The scheme will boost trade between the two countries and bring mutual benefits, said a border inspection official.

A green channel will also be set up for businesspeople from both countries to make it more convenient for them to go through border inspection, according to the government.

Heilongjiang shares a 3,000-km border with Russia. Large quantities of goods and raw materials are traded through the province's ports.

Suifenhe in the southeast of Heilongjiang started border trade with Russia in the 1980s.