China US trade war
(Image: Microstockhub/Getty)

Earlier this month China struck another blow in its escalating trade war with the United States, issuing a travel advisory warning to its emerging “rival”. It was targeted squarely at the US$1.6 billion tourism industry in the country and said: “Recently, shootings, robberies and theft have occurred frequently in the US.”

Western countries, being the places significant numbers of people have traditionally had money to travel, have been using travel advisories for decades to warn their citizens about other (usually developing) nations. While these are usually centered on safety, former diplomats from some European countries have admitted there is also a trade/economic element aimed at drying up tourism funds for despotic regimes. Think Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe and, going back a few years, Myanmar and various South American nations.