300 Cruise voyages to Korea from China to be canceled by the end of this year

China continues to target South Korea in retaliation
for the deployment of THAAD. 300 cruise voyages will be canceled, according
to a Chinese travel industry representative. While it is a financial loss for Korea, it
will likely be a double edged sword. Our Hwang Hojun, reports. China has been arguing that it’s not retaliating
against South Korea over the deployment of the THAAD anti-missile system. “China pays great attention to developing
economic and trade relations with South Korea. As a responsible member of the WTO, China
has consistently and will continue to abide by WTO rules and the related promises.” But Beijing’s actions don’t appear consistent
with its rhetoric. The secretary general of the China Cruise
And Yacht Industry Association, Zheng Weihang, said at the CruiseWorld China industry conference
in Shanghai this week… that 300 cruise voyages to Korea have been canceled from March 15th
through the end of this year. That means more than one million passengers
won’t be able to step foot on Korean soil. Observers say the fact that the official made
that remark at a formal meeting confirms that Chinese authorities are involved in the so-called
THAAD retaliation. Earlier this month, China’s National Tourism
Administration distributed seven guidelines to travel agencies in China… directing them
to suspend sales of all travel packages to South Korea, effective from March 15th, warning
them of stiff penalties if they don’t comply. The administration has been pressuring the
travel industry to minimize business with Korea, but since the total suspension took
effect last week, reports say complaints have skyrocketed. Travel agents and ship lines that had been
raking in money through cruises to Korea were hit out of the blue, and the authorities won’t
compensate them for the damage. Last year about 1-point-2 million Chinese
nationals came by cruise ships. So, while Korea will certainly feel the blow
of fewer Chinsese tourists, experts say China won’t be able to avoid a taste of its own
medicine. Hwang Hojun, Arirang News.


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