One of the things that US travelers to China have found most difficult over the years has been the length of the visa. For the time, effort, and cost that goes into obtaining a Chinese visa, the short term visa was annoying (as this was reciprocal, the same went for visitors from China to the US).
That has changed as of today (November 12). Now, your visa for China will last 10 years (and the same goes fro US visas)! That is good news for many. It is also very helpful for those who like to explore races in difference places. China has some incredible races (like the Great Wall Marathon) but having to apply for a new visa each time you want to experience one is annoying.
Of course, if you are simply transiting through China via the cities of Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, or Chongqing, you will still be able to get a 72 hour transit visa upon arrival. For visa help, consider using Allied Passport. By using this link, you will receive a $5 discount on your order.