Summer is a peak season for vacation. However, Reuters cited official data reporting that during the summer, China railway travel reached an 8-year low as COVID outbreaks curb tourists’ mobility.

Data from China Railway revealed that 440 million passenger trips were made between July 1 and August 31 on China’s railway network. This number hit its lowest since 2014.

It decreased by 4.8% when compared to the same period in 2021.

A spike in COVID cases and COVID restrictions in accordance with the Chinese regime caused many people’s vacation plans to be delayed. 

During the busiest summer travel season, Sanya, Hainan, is stepping up COVID-19 controls after a spike in cases made the city the latest viral hotspot in the country. To curb COVID outbreaks, it also restricted transport connections. According to Reuters, about 80,000 tourists are stranded in the popular resort city of Sanya. [Video 1– 0:19 -> 0:25] [Video 2– 0:34 -> 0:39]

According to Capital Economics, as of Wednesday, August 31, 41 cities were amid outbreaks, representing 32% of China’s GDP. This is the highest since April when strict COVID lockdowns took a heavy toll on China’s economy.

As Nikkei Asia newspaper reported on July 6, China State Railway Group planned to double down on its expansion of the so-called ‘world’s largest high-speed rail network.’
This announcement heightens concerns about China’s “hidden debt”. The campaign came after the state-owned operator reported debt nearing a whopping $900 billion as of the end of 2021.

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