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I'm transiting through China in Kunming, China.

I'm a South African national and do NOT fall under the 72-hour visa free program. However on [their official (travelchina) website][1] it says:

Nationals of most countries are eligible for the 24-hour direct transit, while a visa is needed for the passengers transiting on Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen passports.

I'm sorry if I'm missing this, but the above is rather badly worded for me does "nationals of most countries" include ALL countries except those mentioned in the list shown?

Also again sorry if I'm missing this but again it is rather badly worded for me. I will fly via Thailand to China and then via China to Canada with an 8-hour layover in China. I see Thailand is mentioned on the list. I have a Thailand residency permit where I currently reside... Would that affect me at all?

Also, any idea if I can exit the airport in China and come back under the 24-hour visa exemption (should I be exempt)?

Many thanks.

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    Visa rules are based on your nationality, not your residency country (though residency may impose aditional requirements, such as proof of residency). Living in Thailand does not mean you need a transit visa like Thai citizens. – user13044 Sep 25 '17 at 12:16
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The paragraph you quote is quite clear. Citizens of most countries get 24-hour visa-free transit, except people traveling on passports from "Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen". If your passport is from the RSA, it's not in that list, so you get 24-hour transit. You can go out, visit Kunming, and come back to the airport, in time for your next flight.

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