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I am arriving at Shanghai Pudong airport (from the US) via China Eastern Airlines at 6 PM. Then I have another flight to Bangkok via Air China at 11 PM.

Would I need to go through customs? I do have Chinese travel visa, but it would be easier if I can just go to my connecting gate.

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No, but: while you will not go through "actual" immigration and customs, you will need to go through a passport examination that's an awful lot like immigration (complete with long snaking queues at times) and a strict security check afterwards. Fortunately you have plenty of time to connect, so you should be fine, just follow the signs for Transfers.

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