Travel to China morally wrong?

George Hobica, March 30, 2008
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q: I noticed that you answered a question about finding low airfares to the Beijing Olympics this summer, which brings up a question: don't you think it's morally wrong to encourage travel to China, what with the genocide in Darfur, which is largely made possible by China's support (oil money for weapons, support for the Sudanese government, etc). Not to mention Tibet. Not to mention that the Chinese government looks the other way as their factories send us tainted products, everything from Heparin to dog food? Oh, and how about the way they censor internet access. I'm not saying you're as bad as Yahoo, which handed over a Chinese dissident to authorities not so long ago. But I would ask that you show some social responsibility.

    A: This is a tough one. We certainly share your concerns about China, no doubt. But are we a political organization or an airfare listing service? Does travel to China by North Americans encourage understanding, and help bring down barriers between peoples?

    Many people outside the US take issue with our involvement in Iraq. So what if they boycott travel to the US? Is this what we really want?

    I'd be interested to see what others think about this issue so perhaps we'll set up a reader survey and feel free to leave comments below.

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