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The Chinese Online Visa Application asks if I have visited any other countries or regions in the last 12 months. I have visited Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong SAR.

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Unfortunately, I do not see an input option for the latter two. How best should these "regions" be addressed in my application?

3 Answers 3

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You only need to check Yes for the question "Have you ever been to China?" asked before this question.

Other countries and regions here exclude territories considered to be China, including the two SARs, even if they form a separate immigration territory, as well as the claimed areas administered by Taiwan/Republic of China.

While the two SARs and Taiwan are referred to as regions, here the word "region" is used to include places like Puerto Rico or St Pierre et Miquelon.

COVA used in other countries other than the US (possibly other countries as well) phrases the question differently with only "countries", but the options are actually the same.

If you wish to clarify why you have visited China without a visa, you can also attach an explanation to the form in the additional information section. Be careful to not give an impression in your declaration that Taiwan or HK is a separate country. But usually you can also explain it to the visa application centre staff and they usually will note it in a politically correct way.

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The People's Republic of China is of the firm opinion that Taiwan and Hong Kong are parts of the People's Republic of China, so for the purposes of your visa application, they are not "other countries or regions".

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    Well, HK definitely is...
    – dda
    Mar 27 at 0:31
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    @dda "definitely" in what sense? As this answer correctly states, the PRC maintains that it is part of China regardless of the fact that it exerts no practical control over it.
    – phoog
    Mar 27 at 1:12
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    What I meant was that HK definitely IS part of the PRC, and the central government in Beijing does exert plenty of control over it... Not a judgment, just a statement of fact. Been living 17 years in HK.
    – dda
    Mar 27 at 1:24
  • @phoog In the sense that most other countries in the world also acknowledge Hong Kong as part of China while only China claims Taiwan to be a part of China.
    – quarague
    Mar 27 at 18:56
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Regions is exactly what HK, Macau, and Taiwan are considered to be. The two SARs have that word, Region, in their official name. And the PRC doesn't recognize the ROC, and vice-versa. Have you tried Taipei for the latter?

I applied for a visa last year in August, so the form was slightly different, and only asked about countries (I just checked). You should be fine answering only with countries available in the list.

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