Travel agencies in Beijing have been asked to withdraw France as a tourist destination, starting this week.
The move appears to have come from the Beijing Municipality. CITS says that they have been asked to suspend travels to France until further notice. Tours to France in June are on, but July’s trips are cancelled. BTG International Travel Tours had the same info but CTS said all groups departing for France are now officially off. An article on Sohu.com cited by Aujourdhuilachine.com (we weren’t able to find specific article) indicated that “trips to France have been cancelled” and that this destination “was also withdrawn from tours including several European countries.”
The cancellation of tours to France follows a period of tensions between France and China, sparked off by the handling of the Olympic torch relay in Paris, and illustrated by the demonstrations against Carrefour in April across China. The general mood between the two countries nowadays today remains tense. The Dalai Lama is expected to visit France in August, but as of now, no official meeting between him and state members or representatives has been scheduled. Last week, Chinese Ambassador to France, Kong Quan, had declared that an interview between President Sarkozy and the Tibetan spiritual leader was a very unlikely possibility, but seriously, who knows what is going to happen next.
Photo by Thierry B