Hundreds of people gathered in Potters Fields Park in London on June 5, with flowers in their hands. They were there to pay tribute to those who died in terrorist attacks in England’s capital on June 3.
The attacks struck two neighboring areas of London. A van was driven into pedestrians on London Bridge at about 9:58 pm. It then continued on to nearby Borough Market where three attackers appeared and stabbed people inside pubs and restaurants.
At least seven people were killed and dozens injured during the attacks, reported The Guardian. The attackers were later shot dead by police. The Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attacks.
This is the third such incident in the UK in 2017. On May 22, an attacker set off a bomb in Manchester following a concert by US singer Ariana Grande. And in March, a man drove into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge, killing four people, before stabbing a police officer to death.
The attacks came just days before a general election in the UK. It’s believed that terrorism and the issues surrounding it were on people’s minds as they voted on June 8.
And the impact may have even spread overseas. The Manchester attack is believed to have had a negative impact on the city’s business ties with China.
“Chinese businesses looking to invest in Manchester may adopt a wait-and-see attitude,” Zhang Hongwei, president of the Manchester-based China-Britain Technology and Trade Association, told China Daily.
The number of Chinese students choosing to study in Manchester could also be affected, according to Jessie Lu, who works for UK education consultancy InterGreat Education Group.
“The attack has created a new label for Manchester for prospective students and their parents in China, meaning some students currently considering studying in Manchester may opt for safer destinations,” Lu told China Daily.
UK tourism is also likely to suffer a blow from the attacks. On June 5, representatives from the UK tourism sector met to discuss a potential reduction in the number of visitors to the UK. Several Chinese tourists have already cancelled flights to the UK, reported Beijing News.
Xu Xiaolei, a spokesperson for travel agent China Youth Travel Service, expects a further reduction. “The UK has witnessed several attacks recently. I think some Chinese tourists are likely to choose other destinations, and the number of Chinese tourists to the UK will be slightly reduced,” he told China Daily.
However, Shaun Rein, managing director at China Market Research, told the South China Morning Post that impacts on Chinese tourism in the UK are unlikely to be long-term, although it may take six months without incident to reassure tourists the country is safe.