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Chinese citizens currently cannot extend their passport or apply for a new passport unless they have an essential reason for leaving the country (source, for example).

This begs the question — what if one's passport is still valid?

Can Chinese citizens currently leave China for tourism if they have a valid Chinese passport?

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    One of my peeves is incorrect usage of begging the question. In general when you think of "beg the question" you probably mean "raises the question"
    – Peter M
    Mar 27, 2022 at 17:08

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There is no formal requirement or process (like what Australia implemented) to apply for exit permission if you have a valid passport; but you do have to justify your purpose of travel when you apply or renew the passport.

I know several people whose partners or parents have recently come to visit them in Europe and Canada without any difficulty at the exit. However, the purpose of travel was inquired but family visits are accepted as reasons.

There were reports that people leaving for purely tourist purposes were "strongly advised" by the exit immigration to abandon the trip at the airport, but how strongly was the "advice" was not clear.

Tourism to Macau was explicitly allowed before the new wave (spring 2022) since the Mainland immigration was allowed to issue tourist endorsements on the travel permits ("passport" used for travel to Hong Kong and Macau which are Chinese special administrative regions, but forms separate immigration and customs territories).

Note that even if there is no exit ban per se, the costs and measures before and subsequent to reentering China would still deter most people from travelling for pleasures only. Airlines can be forced to cancel international flights with less than a day's notice and mandatory facility quarantines and multiple testing are no small hurdle either.

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