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  • When it comes to international travel, where you're going may not matter as much as where you're coming from.


  • That's because different passports allow varying levels of so-called "travel freedom".


  • While some travelers are able to breeze through customs and stay abroad for months or even years,


  • others are subject to expensive visas, strict time limits or an otherwise heavy vetting process.


  • So why is there this discrepancy?


  • Which countries have the most powerful passports?


  • Well, passports tend to reflect their country's international standing.


  • That is, countries with mostly positive diplomatic relations tend to have more powerful passports.


  • Because the leaders of those countries have jointly signed on to bilateral visa agreements.


  • For example, Afghan passport holders are extremely limited in where they can travel, as the country is embroiled in many international conflicts.


  • According to the 2017 Passport Index, which ranks countries by the number of nations their citizens can enter without a visa, Singapore has one of the most powerful passports.

    根據 2017 年護照指數,以持有人能免簽證入境的國家數量來排序,新加坡的護照是世界上其中一個最強的護照。

  • Since its founding in 1965, Singapore's foreign policy has been predicated on fostering as many international friends as possible.

    自 1965 年建國以來,星國的外交政策就是盡可能與國際間各國建立友好關係。

  • The country took a neutral stance during the Cold War, instead focusing its efforts on uniting Southeast Asian countries under ASEAN.


  • Today, the country plays an active role in the United Nations, often standing up to world powers like the United States, China and the United Kingdom, to ensure that smaller nations have a say in international affairs.


  • It even upholds friendly relations with Malaysia, the country it separated from more than 50 years ago amid political and racial tension.

    它甚至和馬來西亞保持友好關係,即便星國在超過 50 年前因政治和種族因素退出馬來西亞。

  • As a result of its good international standing, Singaporean passport holders can travel visa-free to 156 countries and territories,

    在超然國際地位的加持下,所有持新加坡護照者可以免簽證入境全球 156 個國家和地區,

  • including all of Europe, a region that is notoriously difficult to gain full access to.


  • Sweden takes a similar approach to foreign policy, and accordingly, has an equally powerful passport.


  • Sweden has not fought in an armed conflict since the early 19th century, when it fought on the losing side of the Napoleonic Wars.

    瑞士自 19 世紀初在拿破崙戰爭中吃下敗仗後,就不再參與武裝軍事衝突。

  • Instead, its military has focused on encouraging countries to disarm, peacekeeping and other support missions.


  • As a neutral state, Sweden often serves as a protector for less powerful nations, and a mediator in international disputes.


  • But the most powerful passport is that of Germany, offering visa-free access to 157 countries and territories.

    然而,世界上最強的護照非德國莫屬,免簽證待遇遍及全球 157 個國家地區。

  • Germany is arguably one of the world's strongest supporters of global cooperation.


  • It is a member of many international organizations, and contributes more net funding to the European Union than any other member country.


  • Germany takes a leading role in solving global problems, like climate change, nuclear weapons development and terrorism,


  • and has used much of its own budget to bail out struggling EU economies like Greece.


  • But forging friendships with other nations isn't the only way to gain widespread visa-free travel.


  • Some countries, like China, have seen increased travel freedom simply because their citizens have on average become wealthier.


  • In 2015, Japan, South Korea, and the United States all eased visa restrictions on Chinese tourists.

    2015 年,日本、南韓和美國紛紛鬆綁中國旅客的簽證限制。

  • Presumably because of the economic benefits they would likely bring with them.


  • The Passport Index also shows that being a citizen of a global superpower is not all that important to one's travel freedom.


  • In another study of travel freedom, the United States comes in fourth place, as relations with countries like Vietnam are still somewhat tense.


  • In the end, a country's travel freedom is hugely important to its citizens.


  • The ability to move freely around the world is often correlated to a person's economic opportunity, upward mobility and general quality of life.


  • As globalization takes hold, powerful passports are more critical now than ever.


  • No matter where your passport's from, some countries are notoriously difficult to enter, especially if you are of a certain nationality.


  • To find out more about which countries you probably can't visit, check out this video.


  • Along with Finland, Germany, Sweden and the UK, the US has the most powerful travel privileges in the world allowing visa-free access to 174 countries.

    和芬蘭、德國、瑞典、英國一樣,美國也擁有世界最高的旅行自由度,在 174 個國家享有免簽證待遇。

  • Thanks for watching Seeker Daily!

    感謝收看 Seeker Daily!

  • Don't forget to like and subscribe for new videos from us every day.


When it comes to international travel, where you're going may not matter as much as where you're coming from.


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