字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント On this episode of China Uncensored, how China is using tourism as a weapon. Hi, welcome back to China Uncensored. I'm your host, Chris Chappell. The Chinese Communist Party has a secret weapon to use against countries it doesn't like. No, it's not the new hypersonic waverider missile. This weapon involves completely different kind of wave rider... Chinese tourists! The Communist Party's weaponization of tourism means using the massive flow of Chinese tourists... ...and all the money they spend shopping... as a way to punish other countries for not following the Party line. The most recent country to get walloped? The Pacific island nation of Palau. Palau is here. Wait, zoom in. Palau is here. Um... keep zooming in. There it is. Palau is here. This country is so small, that when they were having their flag designed, they could only afford the basic package. Not to say Palau isn't a beautiful tropical paradise. It is! It's also one of only 17 countries in the world that still have diplomatic relations with Taiwan. That is, they recognize Taiwan's Republic of China government as the legitimate government of all of China. Obviously, the Chinese Communist Party does not like this. So they've hit Palau with what amounts to a partial travel ban. They're doing this by refusing to give Palau “Approved Destination Status,” or ADS. I know, ADS doesn't sound like something you necessarily want someone to give you. But it's actually a seal of approval that allows mainland Chinese travel agencies to book group tours there. Without ADS, tourists can still visit, but only if they book travel on their own. And among Chinese travelers, big group tours are still way more popular. Palau actually never had ADS, but Chinese travel agencies were booking tours to Palau anyway. You know, because laws in China...eh… That is, until last year, when the Chinese regime cracked down— by sending a letter to all Chinese travel agencies, reminding them specifically that it's against the law to book tour groups to Palau. And then the number of Chinese tourists in Palau plummeted— from 87,000 in 2015, to 58,000 in 2017. While those figures may not sound like much, about half of Palau's tourists come from Mainland China, and about half the country's GDP comes from tourism. So those falling numbers are actually a pretty big deal for Palau. Palau Pacific Airways, which once claimed to be “the best choice to get from Hong Kong to Palau,” announced that it was shutting down—for good. Manipulating tourism is one of many tactics of statecraft used by the Chinese Communist Party, according to this recent report called “China's Use of Coercive Economic Measures.” The report says that over the past few years, the Party has perfected the art of weaponizing tourism, cutting off the flow of tourist dollars as a tactic to punish countries that refuse to do its bidding. And the authors of the report warn: Y ou ain't seen nothin yet. You see, Chinese tourists spend more than tourists from any other country in the world, and those expenditures are growing. According to a study by Nielsen, in 2016, Chinese tourists traveled overseas 120 million times, and spent more than 260 billion dollars during those trips. And most of what they spent those billions on, is shopping. Obviously for countries that host Chinese tourists, that kind of cash is nice to have. I mean, even Newark, New Jersey is getting in on the action. So the Chinese Communist Party has learned to exploit that tourism. Back in 2012, when Chinese and Filipino ships first clashed over disputed waters in the South China Sea, China retaliated by issuing travel warnings to discourage Chinese tourists from visiting the Philippines. And it had a huge impact in some parts of the country. But lately, the new president Rodrigo Duterte has decided to get all buddy-buddy with China... ...and the tourism floodgates have opened again. Duterte has achieved this partly by backing down over claims in the South China Sea, and making *hilarious* jokes like, the Philippines ought to just be a province of China. Ha. Ha. And presto! Within a few months, the number of Chinese tourists grew by 40 percent! And it could double by the end of the year. Then there's the troublesome totally-not-a-country of Taiwan. Under Taiwan's previous president, China-Taiwan ties got warmer and warmer— culminating in a historic, but also super awkward-looking, meeting between the two leaders. And tourism from China skyrocketed. But the new president of Taiwan since 2016 has been a real Negative Nancy towards the Communist Party. She's repeatedly referred to Taiwan as a country— which the Chinese Communist Party considers just a stone's throw from declaring independence. And within seven months of her election, tourism from mainland China was down 36 percent— mostly because of pressure on travel agencies from, you guessed it, the Chinese Communist Party. Then there's South Korea. In 2017, South Korea deployed an American-made anti-missile defence system known as THAAD. It's officially designed to intercept missiles from North Korea, but it could also stop missiles from, really, any aggressive communist neighbor. And this was not lost on Chinese leaders, who've hated THAAD from the get-go. Within a month of deployment, tour groups from China to Korea dropped to nearly zero, as this graph shows. And individual tourism from China fell by about half. Cuts to tourism cost South Korea more than 15 billion dollars and four hundred thousand jobs. So for countries like the Philippines, Taiwan, and South Korea, tourism manipulation is a hard thing to fight against. You either play by the Communist Party's rules, or suffer the consequences. But then again, maybe fewer group tours— and the trampling masses they bring— isn't always bad. Back to the Pacific paradise of Palau. It already had to close down its iconic Jellyfish Lake… …because of too many careless tourists. And recently, Palau has decided to shift from mass tourism to what it calls “high yield, low impact” tourism: That is, higher spending tourists who are more environmentally conscious. I guess they want tourists from Northern California. Meanwhile, the president of Palau is showing no signs of caving to the Chinese Communist Party— no matter what happens with tourism. Perhaps other countries might consider taking a page from Palau's playbook. So what do you think about China's weaponization of tourism as a foreign policy tool? Leave your comments below. And before you go, it's that time when I answer a question from a supporter who contributes to China Uncensored through Patreon, our crowdfunding website. “Where do you see the future of Taiwan? Reunification with mainland China, or an UN-recognized sovereign nation?” Wow, Gorden. That's a tough question. I think that—so long as the Communist Party rules China— we won't see either unification with China or UN recognition of Taiwan. The more the Chinese regime threatens Taiwan, and the more the Chinese regime takes away the rights of the citizens in its supposedly independent regions of Hong Kong and Macau, the less Taiwanese people want to be unified under that system. So even if economic ties deepen, Taiwan will resist actual unification. At the same time, if Taiwan were to officially declare independence, it could push the Chinese regime to invade, thus starting start World War III. Or China's threats could all be a big bluff, and they won't do anything. The key here is: NOBODY KNOWS! That's why I think the most likely scenario is: Taiwan will stay in its current, awkward limbo indefinitely. The other possibility—and this is small— is that the United States will change half a century of China policy and decide to recognize both China and Taiwan as separate countries. Because if the US does it, the rest of the world will follow suit. Now that's not very likely, but we do have a president who might just do it. With Trump, you never know. Thanks for your question, Gorden. And to everyone else, be like Gorden and support China Uncensored with a dollar or more per episode. Click the link below and visit our crowdfunding page on Patreon.com. Your support keeps the show going, since YouTube ad revenue has dwindled. Thanks for watching this episode of China Uncensored. I'm Chris Chappell. See you next time. Thanks for watching. Click this orange button to support China Uncensored on the crowdfunding website Patreon. Your support makes a huge difference. Thank you so much.