China’s Tourism Industry: Latest For Sanctioning – OpEd


In the BBC’s continuing China series, the latest story is titled: “Domestic tourism soars in China but foreigners stay away.”  See

So why are foreigners staying away?

Tucked away in the story is the observation that most individuals in Western nations hold unfavourable views towards China. Further it argues that the Chinese government’s tightening grip on societal regulations could potentially cause discomfort for foreign travellers in China.

However, nowhere in the article is there evidence provided of foreign travellers being worried about or discomforted by this allegation of “tightening grip”.

Instead the article goes to lengths to inform that foreign travellers are turned off by the country’s state of the art phone app payment and booking system. Quoting an expatriate authority on the economics of tourism in China, the article relates: 

“Technologies such as social network websites, online maps, payment apps, among others, which foreigners have long been accustomed to using, are either unavailable or inaccessible when they travel to China.

On the other hand, there are Chinese alternatives to these technologies that remain inaccessible to foreigners due to language barriers and differences in user habits.”

The reporter has added the observation that an Italian couple found the process of using China’s payment apps a challenge and informed that it is “much, much, much easier” if you have a Chinese friend to help you. Any discerning reader will be wondering whether the quotation with its unnamed informant and triple “much” has been inserted to sex up the storyline to make it appear insurmountable for foreigners to travel in China.

It may be that the reporter has not been embellishing the story but has  been talking to the wrong people. However, a quick visit to the numerous youtube and tik tok videos put out now by what is now a small army of foreign vloggers travelling in China reveals a reality that contradicts the  allegations of foreign travellers being put off by China’s social regulations and government – the latter as implied – or by China’s homegrown apps.

It is not only the videos running into many viewing hours that depict a safe nation with a largely happy and contented people throughout all the provinces of the country including in Xinjiang where the BBC has been a main channel for the lies, falsehoods and duplicity with regard to the alleged genocide inflicted upon the Uyghur community and the groundless slanders about the ‘pervasve’ prison camps, detention centers and absence of civil liberties and human rights in China.

It is also the comments from the multitude of commentators in the unfiltered and uncensored China exchange – some are visitors from past and more recent trips – which provide opposed views to the propaganda cranked out by western media on China. The commentators also contrast what is taking place in their own countries with what they have discovered in China. More than a few write to lament about how they have lost faith in their own leaders and societal development and how impressed they are with developments in China.

These two comments typify much of the feedback from independent recent travellers to China coming from countries around the world, some of which relate to geopolitics and which, for obvious reasons, are not available from the BBC.

I visited China last year to see if they are collapsing in the last 20yrs, they are still moving along nicely. Beautiful infrastructure, amazing landscapes, transport efficiency, people are rich, high tech, all the cars on the road are brand new, high end vehicles. Seeing is believing. Don’t listen to all the BS lies in Australia or America. Go visit yourself, very safe and clean.

Fear is the only reason the U.S. wanted to contain China. When tariffs failed, technology sanctions followed. When both tariffs and sanctions failed, de-coupling became the buzzword. And when de-coupling was found to hurt the U.S. economy more than China’s, it was changed to de-risking which in effect means a “slow de-coupling” until a more appropriate time. And now, fear has invaded European minds and the Europeans want to adopt the American low-life tactics.

To its credit, the BBC article has identified one important reason for the slow return of foreign travellers to China though it failed to discuss this more. Thus it noted

Washington warns potential travellers to “reconsider travel to Mainland China due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws, including in relation to exit bans, and the risk of wrongful detentions”.

Australia advises “a high degree of caution” warning that “Australians may be at risk of arbitrary detention or harsh enforcement of local laws, including broadly defined National Security Laws“. 

Why even the better BBC reporters engage in slanted writing and why we cannot expect fair reporting from western media organisations has been identified succinctly by a recent commentator in Foreign Policy in an article subtitled, “Why are China hawks exaggerating the threat from Beijing”.


Over the past few years, the Pundit Industrial Complex has gone into high gear on China. A new generation of scholarly, governmental, and journalistic reputations is being built on the idea that the United States has entered a new cold war, with China in the role of the Soviet Union and a reduced Russia as its eager helpmate. Scores of books and articles are being sold, weapons systems developed (including the United States’ first new nuclear warheads in decades), promotions and tenure awarded, and so forth.

Next anti-China target for the BBC’s version of fair and independent news:

The Paris Olympics

Lim Teck Ghee

Lim Teck Ghee PhD is a Malaysian economic historian, policy analyst and public intellectual whose career has straddled academia, civil society organisations and international development agencies. He has a regular column, Another Take, in The Sun, a Malaysian daily; and is author of Challenging the Status Quo in Malaysia.

One thought on “China’s Tourism Industry: Latest For Sanctioning – OpEd

  • May 19, 2024 at 11:15 am

    Not worth commenting on the decadent and useless evil US lies. US is a lost country going down the drain.


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