Guangzhou and Chengdu started offering visa-free transit for 72 hours earlier this month. It is the third Chinese city to do so behind Shanghai and Beijing. This policy will allow visitors holding third-country visas and onward plane tickets from Baiyun Airport (CAN) or Chengdu Airport (CTU) to stay in Guangzhou or Chengdu for up to 72 hours without a visa.
This policy has been in affect at Beijing and Shanghai airports already and I think it’s a great step to opening up China to foreigners, especially because the visas cost so much money.The only drawback with Guangzhou is that there aren’t many international connecting flights there yet, but China Southern is growing and adding flights each year. For Hong Kong travelers this isn’t a benefit since there’s barely any flights from HKG to CAN and more than likely you wouldn’t be connecting in CAN from HKG to get anywhere. Most likely you’d be going via Beijing or Shanghai onwards.
There’s even less chance of anyone connecting to a foreign destination from Chengdu, there just aren’t a large number of international flights to/from there, and it’s not strategically located for connecting flights. Beijing and Shanghai are further East for better connections to Korea and Japan. Even Guangzhou is further south for connections to SE Asia.,
Note: Recently, Guangzhou and Chengdu have also been approved to implement this policy. Passport holders of following 45 countries can also be granted a visa-free stay of up to 72 hours when taking an international transfer via Guangzhou Baiyun Airport (CAN) from 1st August 2013, and Chengdu Shuangliu Airport (CTU) a few months later.
Schengen Countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden. Switzerland
Other European Countries: Russia, UK, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine
America: US, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile
Oceania: Australia, New Zealand
Asia: Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, UAE, Qatar