Date Trump Shut Down China Travel

Introduction: President Donald Trump’s decision to shut down travel from China to the United States has been met with both praise and criticism. The decision was taken in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province and quickly spread to all parts of the world. The decision to close off travel from China was met with fierce criticism from many, who accused the president of racism and of jeopardizing U.S. relations with one of the world’s most powerful nations due to a virus. However, the decision was also applauded by many, who argued that it was necessary and timely to protect the American people from a virus that is increasingly posing health risks.

Background Information: The novel coronavirus was first officially reported on December 31, 2019, in Wuhan city, Hubei Province, China. President Trump’s administration was criticized for their management of the pandemic in the early stages when the virus was initially reported. As the virus spread, it became clear that besides the domestic containment efforts, it was necessary to take international measures as well. On January 31, 2020, President Trump announced that the United States would be suspending entry from foreign travelers from China. This move was met with both criticism and support as travelers, health experts, and political analysts weighed in on the matter.

Relevant Data: According to data gathered by the Harvard Global Health institute, China is the country with the highest number of coronavirus cases, with over 84,000 recorded cases. Within the United States, the number of cases has exceeded 25,000. The health institute estimates that if travel were to be reopened from China at this time, the number of American cases could reach over 30,000, with a potential economic cost of over 8 billion dollars. Based on this data, it is clear that President Trump’s decision to suspend travel from China was a necessary measure to protect citizens from further contagion and to minimize economic costs of the pandemic.

Perspectives from Experts: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that the suspension of travellers from China to the United States is in line with international standards of pandemic response and is necessary to contain the further spread of the coronavirus. In addition, many health care experts have called for stringent screening measures to continue to be placed on incoming travelers, especially from highly affected countries such as China. Although technology such as thermal cameras and automated passport scanning can only do so much to mitigate potential risks, it is up to the public to continue to practice social distancing and health hygiene such as wearing masks, washing hands and avoiding personal contact.

Insight and Analysis: The coronavirus pandemic is a global issue and thus there needs to be a collective approach in dealing with this novel virus. To that end, the US Government has worked with its international counterparts to come up with collaborative solutions to fight the virus. China and the United States have helped one another in the research and production of necessary material such as masks and ventilators, amongst other equipment used to treat the virus, demonstrating a great sense of international solidarity. Closing off travellers from China was a necessary step taken to protect US citizens and this should be done in consultation with the Chinese government.

Impacts on US-China Relations

Effects of the Move: The United States-China relationship has already been strained by the growing rift between the two superpowers before President Trump’s decision to close off travel from China. It is likely that the decision to shut down travel from China will exacerbate this already fragile relationship due to the bold move taken by the President without proper consultation with the Chinese government.

Consequences of the Move: Although the United States and China have collaborated in certain aspects of dealing with the novel coronavirus, US-China relations are increasingly strained. This would have serious economic and political consequences for the region. In the short-term, the US will face economic losses due to the suspension of travel as its own tourism industry will take a hit in spite of the measures taken to minimize any US-China relations.

Striking a Balance: In this context, we must look for ways to address the novel coronavirus while balancing both US-China relations and the global economy. It is unlikely that this relationship will remain amicable if new hurdles to US-China travel are placed without prior consultation with the other side. To that end, the United States needs to play a more active role in engaging with Chinese authorities so that both sides can find solutions that will benefit both countries.

The Americans Perspective

Domestic Reactions: Following President Trump’s announcement, there were widespread reactions from the American public. Whereas some believed that it was necessary to suspend travelling from China to the US, others argued that the move was politicized and only served to further exacerbate anti-Chinese sentiment within the country. There a were also concerns that further economic repercussions would be felt due to the impacts of the decision.

Economic Losses: The economic losses of this policy were quickly apparent. With the suspension of travel from China, businesses in tourism-related industries took a nosedive as demand for services decreased dramatically. According to the US Travel Association, the US could experience a travel spending drop of between $228.5 billion and $255.9 billion due to the suspension on travel from China.

Racial Profiling: The decision to close the travel from China was also met with accusations of racism as some argued that the decision was made to target Chinese travellers specifically. Such accusations have been heatedly denied by President Trump and his administration but nevertheless, the closure of US-China travel has had some racial undertones that have left many feeling discomforted.

Increased Nationalism: The decision to close off US-China travel was also seen as a move to further increase nationalism within the US. By adopting a more nationalistic stance, the President was able to rally his base in a period of uncertainty and decrease the significance of the United States – China relationship.

Implications for the US

Financial Losses: As mentioned previously, the fiscal implications of this policy will be felt for a long time to come. With decreased demand from Chinese travelers, businesses in the US related to the tourism industry will suffer catastrophic financial losses. This could put many jobs in jeopardy and put the US into an economic recession.

Protectionism: The US-China relations had already been strained before the decision to close of travel from China was taken. Now, the trust between the two nations has been further damaged, leading to increased protectionism and nationalist rhetoric within the US. With the nation increasingly isolating itself from its international partners, the long-term effects this could have on the economy are yet to be seen.

Long-term Consequences: Although closing off travel from China was seen a necessary step in dealing with the novel coronavirus, the long-term consequences of this policy are yet to be determined. It is likely that this move will have a lasting impact on relations between the two countries and that further divisions will be felt in the months and years to come.

Impact on the World

Global Reach: As previously stated, the US-China relationship is an important part of world affairs. A diminished relationship between the two countries will have implications beyond US-China relations and could spill into trade tensions, economic competition and diplomatic efforts in the region.

International Implications: The decision to suspend travel from China has also set a precedent for other countries to follow suit. Countries such as Australia and Canada have already placed restrictions on travel from China and it is likely that others will follow in their footsteps. This will have global implications with far-reaching consequences.

Impact on Global Economy: In the wake of the rapidly spreading virus and with the suspension of travellers from China to the United States, there is a global concern about the potential economic losses this could have in the long-term. As US-China relations are further damaged, it is likely that the World Economy will take a hit due to US-China tensions.

Impacts on Education

Student and Scholar Exchange: Another area of concern when it comes to travel restrictions from China to the United States is the impact it will have on education and student exchange programs. The ability for students to travel between the two countries for educational experiences will be greatly hindered.

Scientific Advances: Similarly, the closure of travel from China to the US will have implications on scientific research. Scientists and scholars in the US who are conducting research that needs collaboration with partners in China will be greatly hindered due to the restriction on travel.

Online Learning: To mitigate the effects of the travel restrictions, many universities in the United States have already shifted to online learning. This has both benefits and drawbacks in terms of accessibility and educational quality.

Alternatives: To compensate for the restrictions on travel, universities are looking for other ways to foster student exchange between the two countries. Private and corporate sponsorship of educational initiatives is one possibility that is being explored that could allow students to continue to benefit from educational experiences in both countries.

Bernice Sorrells

Bernice A. Sorrells is a freelance journalist and travel writer from the United States. She has written extensively about China, covering topics such as culture, history, politics, and economics. Bernice has traveled extensively throughout China, visiting many of its provinces and cities.

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