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Ripples of trade war

Ripples of trade war

Amidst several ramifications of the ongoing trade war between the US and China, there is one that was not anticipated and yet has hit the ground. Tourism was bound to be free of trade standoff simply due to separate paradigms that these fall under. But, China, through its Ministry of Culture and Tourism, has issued an advisory to tourists, asking them to be wary of dangers in visiting the US. The advisory urged to "fully assess the risks" of stepping foot on US soil, "noting the frequent occurrence of shootings, robberies and theft," as per China's official Xinhua News Agency. As it is the records cite a fall in Chinese tourists visiting the US for the first time in fifteen years, China's advisory only promotes the decline. Travel has dropped by 5.7 per cent since 2018. As the trade war continues unabated, it is a matter of concern that this proxy conflict between the superpowers is set to hurt people, not in the usual hike in prices of American goods but rather tourism. The advisory capitalises on the floating concern of safety issues persistent in the US with reports of high profile mass shootings and prevalence of gun aggravating the apprehensions. Not just tourism, the advisory and the revolving issues of safety have also contributed to the decline of foreign enrolments of students in American universities; Chinese students build a majority of the foreign enrolments. Chinese advisory aims to protect its citizens from unnecessary and uncomfortable questioning at airports following the US's implicit harassment measures. Finding it in a position of expressing concern towards its citizenry and also exercising responsibility, the Chinese government has urged its people to be wary. The calm issuance of advisory also denotes the fact that China expected this sort of development to take place following a long trade battle that has only proliferated despite 11 meetings aimed to reach a unanimous decision to cease it. With Chinese tourists boycotting US trips, the Chinese public spending in the US market is also set to take a hit. The ramifications do not cease here with Chinese nationals or people of Chinese origin also at risk of unfair treatment at hands of US authorities following the tense trade war. Ripples of trade conflict reaching public sphere make up a dismal picture. No one expects factors like trade standoff to hit tourism. The governments are spoiling the equation of global peace and prosperity through their vested interests and difference of opinion.

The G20 Osaka summit to be held later this month will probably allow the two superpowers to hold dialogue and resolve this trade conflict, reversing their tariffs and removing any animosity thereby to allow the pre-trade war times to prevail. It should be noted that a similar possibility had surfaced last time the two countries met for resolving the conflict, however Trump, then, accused China of renegotiating their deal specifically when it was almost finalised. Amidst the list of industries impacted by the Sino-US trade war – soybeans, cars, steel, and semiconductors – one stands apart and is rather a non-negotiable one. Education or say students should not be facing any adversity in the wake of political cum economic impasse between the superpowers. Hence, it is important that the US and China resolve this increasing inconvenience for the greater good. This trade war is well past its half-life and time is now ripe to cease it. The war has only aggravated the trade scenario between them as both resort to other nations for their requirements avoiding high tariffs that they have imposed on each other. G20 summit is an apt occassion for both countries to reconsider the ramifications of their agitation that is now slowly influencing other areas such as education and toursim.

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