Chinese Outbound Tourism as an Instrument of Economic Statecraft

Darren J. Lim*, Victor A. Ferguson, Rosa Bishop

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    23 Citations (Scopus)


    China’s growing economic strength provides Beijing with potent instruments of economic statecraft to pursue political and strategic objectives. Yet studies of economic power and Chinese economic statecraft tend to concentrate on trade in goods, outbound investment, and international institutions. This article broadens this research program into trade in services by focusing on China’s outbound tourism sector. Drawing on a variety of Chinese and English language sources, the authors describe the history and structure of the domestic regulatory framework governing Chinese outbound tourism, before studying instances where the government has apparently intervened for strategic purposes. By unpacking how Chinese consumers arrange overseas holidays, this article provides insights into how the market structure of this service industry creates both opportunities for and constraints on China’s economic power.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)916-933
    Number of pages18
    JournalJournal of Contemporary China
    Issue number126
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


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