With several national parks closed and lesser availability of monuments to crawl upon, Chinese tourists traveling to the US during Golden Week don’t know what to do with themselves since the partial government shutdown on Tuesday, SCMP reports.
This week is China’s National Day “Golden Week” during which millions of mainland Chinese go on vacation, some of them abroad. In the US, the closure of popular attractions has left Chinese tourists, and their counterparts from other countries, “at a loss of what to do”, wrote the state-owned media outlet China News Service.
“I flew so far to get here but there is nothing to see,” a Henan tourist visiting Washington said.
“Why did they pick the National Day week to shut down?” another traveler said on Weibo.
Although Chinese travelers in the US have voiced frustration, China itself may actually be a beneficiary of the current shutdown. The New York Times reports:
By forcing President Obama to cancel a visit next week to Malaysia and the Philippines, the impasse with House Republicans is spoiling Mr. Obama’s show of support for two Southeast Asian countries that have long labored under the shadow of China. And it is undermining his broader effort to put Asia at the heart of American foreign policy.
China, with its expansionist impulses, is a clear beneficiary of a distracted United States. It has clashed with Malaysia and the Philippines over claims to rocky outposts in the South China Sea, which the three countries border. On previous visits, Mr. Obama said the United States wanted to resolve these disputes peacefully and keep sea lanes open.
Many Chinese netizens have expressed surprisingly optimistic opinions on the current status of the US government, saying that the country’s stable condition during the shutdown is an indication of strength.
[Image credit: @djheavyd]