The depth of trouble the New Zealand Government is in has been made clear by this article in a Chinese newspaper. The article will have been approved by the Chinese Government.
During the seven-day Spring Festival holiday which ended on February 10, New Zealand was not ranked in the top 10 overseas tourist destinations on online travel platform lvmama, a spokesperson told the Global Times.
Some Chinese tourists are considering dumping their plans to travel to New Zealand this year as a way to punish the country.
“Is it a kind of robbery? New Zealand stabbed us in the back but asks for our money? This is double-faced,” said a 30-something Beijing-based worker surnamed Li who identified himself as a patriot.
Li has saved 15,000 yuan ($2,218.6) for a trip to New Zealand this year, but he plans to cancel the trip and travel to neighboring countries over resentment toward New Zealand’s move.
What stokes industry insiders’ worries more is Chinese tourists’ personal safety regarding a new law in New Zealand, which enables customs officials to examine electronic devices at the border. The law took effect on October 1, 2018.
New Zealand is a member of the Five Eyes global cyber-surveillance alliance. The members, led by the US, have all talked about banning Huawei from participating in local 5G network construction, according to media reports. “I cannot tell if the new law is related to Huawei’s case. But if the diplomatic rift escalates, stakes that Chinese visitors will be targets are high,” a worker at a major online travel platform who spoke on condition of anonymity told the Global Times.
“How warmly a country treats tourists could also affect Chinese citizens’ choices of travel destinations. Bilateral travel exchanges need to be carried out in a good environment,” Xu Xiaolei, manager of marketing at China’s CYTS Tours Holding Co, told the Global Times.
China is very important to New Zealand’s tourism industry. Last year, 450,000 Chinese visited New Zealand, making China the nation’s second-largest source of international tourists after Australia.
So this is the Chinese Government saying that they are preparing to reduce tourism to New Zealand.
The Government’s decision to ban Huawei has been seen as an act of economic sabotage against China, so of course they were going to respond. We have banned their most successful company. This is equivalent to a country banning Fonterra from exporting to them.
What makes this even worse is that New Zealand hasn’t gained any benefit from joining the US campaign against Huawei. The US still won’t join TPP. The US won’t do a FTA with NZ. We didn’t even manage to get an exemption from their steel tariffs.
It takes a special level of incompetence to piss off our largest trading partner (whom we do have an FTA with) at the behest of another country, and not even gain anything in return.
But hey I’m sure Winston will sort it all out. Who better to fix the relationship with China that the man who campaigned against us having a FTA with them and built his career on attacking Asian immigration.