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Anti-Asian hate crimes are scaring Chinese travelers away from the US

By Amanda Caroline  •  October 01, 2022  •  21
Asian American community leaders place flowers on a memorial for murder victim Christina Yuna Lee after an anti-Asian hate rally in Sarah D. Roosevelt Park Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022 in Manhattan, New York. (Barry Williams/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
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Hong Kong (CNN) — Cannon Yu lives in Shantou, Guangdong province.
In the past, her sales job at a packaged-foods company took her to business conferences all over the world. But she hasn't left China since early 2020 and is taking her sales calls online instead of in person in Thailand, Germany, Morocco and elsewhere.
While most countries have reopened their borders and resumed travel back to previous pre-Covid levels, China has remained extremely conservative in its approach and continues to adhere to a stringent and uncompromising "zero-Covid" policy.
While those policies keep Chinese people in, they also keep most foreigners out, making it less likely for people like Yu to interact with people from other countries.
And although China still hasn't announced a plan for removing quarantine and other roadblocks for international travel, Yu can't wait to get back on the road and travel again.
There's one exception, though -- she has major reservations about visiting the United States.

How the East looks at the West

Scott Moskowitz, geopolitical risk analyst for APAC at the decision intelligence company Morning Consult, says that state-controlled media in China has played up examples of anti-Asian violence in the US in order to make its citizens less interested in going there.
It's "a strategically curated ecosystem that over-reports and sensationalizes negative foreign news compared to the tight controls on coverage of challenging or disturbing domestic instance," he says.
And Yu's beliefs bear that out.
"They look at people discriminately (there)," she says. "Not only for Chinese, but for Black people. It's very difficult to get fair treatment for all people in the United States."
She adds that she has spoken to friends who have visited the US, claiming that they were detained and searched by customs agents before being allowed to leave the airport.
Yu is one of an increasingly vocal community of Chinese travelers who say that anti-Asian discrimination in the US has made them afraid to visit someday.
This month, Morning Consult published a study on this exact trend. Their findings, based on a survey of 1,000 adults, showed that "a plurality of Chinese have little to no interest in US travel," with violence and anti-Asian discrimination both cited as factors.