TRADE WAR CONTINUES: China finds new ‘weapon’ to counter U.S attack

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BEIJING – July 9, 2019Chinese officials warn their citizens that they intend to travel to the United States to assess the pros and cons of being there.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, along with Culture and Tourism, have recently issued warnings about the dangers that the Chinese may face in the US, such as street violence and robberies, among other things.

In addition, it issued a similar warning to those who intend to study at American universities.

With the beginning of the commercial war between the two countries, Chinese students complained about the difficulties in obtaining an American visa, and some were even prevented from completing the course because they could not renew their visas.

That is because, in October last year, the Trump Administration issued instructions to US embassies to tighten visa policy for Chinese students, especially those who study technology.

However, recently in Osaka, the American leader assured that the US wants more Chinese students at its universities, saying he still expects the Chinese to remain in the US after they complete their studies.

This could mean a thaw in relations between the two countries. On the other hand, Trump is driven by purely pragmatic ideas. China is the largest provider of foreign students to US universities, which charge high fees. As such, losing a stable source of income will have a major impact, said Wang Xiaofeng of the US Research Center at Shanghai-based Fudan University.

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“First, America is a point of attraction for students in China. In recent years, the number of Chinese who go to the United States to study has been steadily increasing,” said Wang Xiaofeng.

“A person who goes to a summer camp for a short period pays several thousand or even tens of thousands of dollars, and those who go to study for a long period pay between 50,000 and 80,000 dollars a year.There are many of these students,” emphasizes the expert.

“In this area, the US has a clear trade surplus with China. After the warning issued by the Chinese authorities, the US tourist industry is supposed to receive far fewer tickets,” he warned.

For many countries, Chinese tourists are the most powerful engine of economic growth. It is estimated that tourism flows from China could reach 200 million people by 2020.

“China is a big market for the US, but the US tourist industry does not depend so much on China … In addition, some Chinese citizens have planned their lives to study in the US, and they will not change everything now. In fact, there have been cases of armed attacks in the United States, including on university campuses, and the US has tightened controls on Chinese citizens, so the warning is a reprisal,” he said.

According to the US National Tourism and Travel Office in 2018, the number of Chinese tourists in the country fell 5.7%.

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