Chinese Police to Patrol Paris This Summer
In response to a number of muggings and attacks against Chinese tourists, it was announced today that the French government has called upon the Chinese police force to help patrol the streets of Paris this summer. According to reports, at least ten Chinese police officers will help strengthen the security at popular tourist spots and public transportation hubs. They will also help translate between Chinese tourists and local police offers.
We cover a lot within the travel industry, but this has to be one of the most significant stories we've seen in a long time. The implications and fallout of this industry first are absolutely huge, and it goes to show how far countries are willing to go in order to get a piece of the world's largest tourism market. Reading between the lines, it seems like this is a move by France to appease China and keep the tour buses coming. Last year, 1.5 million Chinese tourists visited France, and that number is expected to increase by 40% this year after France relaxed its visa process.
Given the potential impact and future precedent, we have some burning questions that need to be answered about this, mainly in the realm of what type of jurisdiction the Chinese police will have over both locals and visitors. Will they have the power to detain someone? Arrest someone? Write tickets? Will they have the same authority as a French police officer?
More information is going to be announced in the coming weeks, and we are absolutely desperate for more details. In terms of the tourism industry, a foreign police force operating in a foreign country to keep its travelers safe is something we've never seen before. Could this set a precedent and expand to other countries? What's to stop China, or any country, from pressuring a nation into such an arrangement? Does this mean that America could request the same from Mexico, tourism in exchange for police presence?
You could see it getting political in a hurry. Stay tuned.