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Travel & Leisure

No rooms for Chinese travelers: Indian hotel body issues a ban

3,000 establishments in Delhi told to refuse service as backlash grows

Chinese travelers are banned from staying at roughly 3,000 budget hotels in the Indian capital. 

TOKYO -- An Indian hotel industry group has issued a blanket ban of Chinese travelers at its roughly 3,000 member lodging facilities as anti-China sentiment rises following a fatal military clash between the two countries in the Himalayas last month. 

"In view of the nefarious activities of China, it has been decided that no Chinese will be accommodated in Delhi's hotels and guest houses from now onwards," the Delhi Hotel and Restaurant Owners Association said in a statement in late June.

The group, which represents budget hotels offering approximately 75,000 rooms in the Indian capital, also told its members not to use furniture and kitchen equipment made in China.

The border clash has also spurred boycotts of Chinese products in India, signaling that the conflict that has resulted in the death of 20 Indian troops is spilling over into the economy. This comes at a time when the hospitality industry is already reeling from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We have suffered for the past three months, and this will add to the blow," said a worker at a Chinese restaurant housed in a Delhi hotel.

India has yet to reopen international flights due to the pandemic, but "Chinese will stop traveling to India if their safety is not guaranteed," said the employee.

The Confederation of All India Traders, representing 70 million traders, has called for boycotts against Chinese products since mid-June. Consumers are urged not to purchase wearable ornaments or other products made in China for upcoming festivals, including November's Diwali holiday.

Customs clearance for Chinese smartphones and medical products has stalled since June at the country's southern ports, according to Indian media. The delays have stretched as long as two to three weeks for procedures that should have been completed promptly, said a knowledgeable source.c

Indian governing authorities have blocked procurement from Chinese telecommunications equipment suppliers Huawei Technologies and ZTE. The state of Maharashtra has moved to restructure an investment agreement with Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor. TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps are now banned in India.

There are roughly 700,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in India, with the disease spreading among the poor. The economy is due to shrink 4.5% this year, the International Monetary Fund estimates, a contraction not seen in roughly 40 years.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking a hard line against China to maintain his political support. But a blacklisting of all things China risks sending the economy into a deeper recession.

China's reaction to the Indian backlash has been muted so far. State media have not reported the casualties sustained by China during the June 15 border clash. There are reports that Chinese authorities are blocking news from Indian media from appearing in the mainland.

Because Beijing sees easing economic and diplomatic tensions with the U.S. as its top priority, officials there appear intent to avoid intensifying the feud with India.

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