Dual lockdowns batter a crucial Chinese city
Islam News – Shenyang, in China’s northeast, is a critical link between China and North Korea. It’s a hub for the select number of North Koreans allowed to work abroad, and a launchpad for foreign tourists, mainly Chinese, seeking to visit North Korea.
But the city has been dealt a double blow, suffering not only from coronavirus restrictions in China, but also from those imposed by North Korea. The city is also situated in a region often referred to as China’s Rust Belt, where the local economy had been shaky for years.
Local officials locked down Shenyang for one month this spring after detecting just a few dozen coronavirus cases among its nine million people. Residents have guarded their spending closely since the lockdown was lifted. The city also had perhaps China’s most extreme quarantine rules for travelers.
Because of the restrictions, North Korean residents and tourists have now mostly disappeared, removing an important customer base for many of the city’s businesses. Restaurants are quiet, and stores and services have seen substantial drops in revenue.
Data: There aren’t exact figures for the number of North Koreans in Shenyang, but North Koreans made 165,200 visits to China in 2018, the last year for which China published statistics.