Yes yes so the Chinese government is worried that foreigners will crawl all over the mainland and infiltrate it with their subversive and misguided, misunderstood and mistaken views and actions.
Journalists will pose as hikers and sneak into Tibet, interviewing Tibetans and worse. CNN will further hurt the Chinese people’s feelings. All hell will break loose and there might now not even be any need for Beijing to keep its promise about cleaning up the air before the olympics.Â (And to think that they’ve kept all the other promises … what a waste!)
Yes I can understand all that.
BUT. By, as it seems they’re doing now, actively keeping all foreigners out by putting North Korea-like restrictions on how people can get into the country (it’ll be obligatory guided tours of no fewer than 20 participants next, mark my word)Â surely they must be shooting themselves in the foot economically?
Seeing that money in today’s China is even more important than getting their own back for the opium war and the sacking of the summer palace, isn’t this a very foolish and short-sighted action by the government? Won’t keeping tourists and business people outÂ have real repercussion, namely a drop in revenue?
Surely that must be even worse for the Zhongnanhai geezers thanÂ being laughed at when they moan about how the splittists and Dalai clique are tearing the country apart with their flags and whatnot?
But what do I know. Maybe they have a long-term plan.
Oh, stop press. I just talked to a Belgian friend of mine, a businessman who was planning to exhibit at the Canton fair. Over the last two weeks he has applied for a visa to China three times and been rejected each time.
He tried for a tourist, then aÂ business visa, and even showed an invitation from a mainland company – but no.Â And no explanation. So it’s not only a question about putting up the money for a visa anymore, it’s being able to pay and still get rejected.
This is getting seriously WEIRD!!!