U.S. Recommends Americans Reconsider Travel to China

July 3, 2023

A federal U.S. Advisory recommended that Americans reconsider any planned travel to China due to arbitrary law enforcement and exit bans.

“The People’s Republic of China (PRC) government arbitrarily enforces local laws, including issuing exit bans on U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries, without fair and transparent process under the law,” the advisory said.

It went on to warn, “U.S. citizens traveling or residing in the PRC may be detained without access to U.S. consular services or information about their alleged crime.”

The advisory was released even as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was scheduled to travel to China for diplomatic and economic meetings on Wednesday.

Already heightened U.S.-Chinese tensions were made worse in recent months after the Pentagon in February shot down what it says was a Chinese surveillance balloon over South Carolinian waters after it had transversed the continental U.S.

During a visit to visit to Beijing last month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken had hoped to put the balloon controversy behind U.S.-Chinese relations. However, soon after Blinken’s mission President Biden sparked a new quarrel when he referred to Chinese President Xi Jinping as a “dictator.”

The advisory released to journalists on Monday added that Chinese authorities “appear to have broad discretion to deem a wide range of documents, data, statistics, or materials as state secrets and to detain and prosecute foreign nationals for alleged espionage.”

Further, it said that exit bans could be used to compel participation in Chinese investigations, pressure family members to return from abroad, resolve civil disputes in favor of Chinese citizens and “gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments.”

Similar advisories were issued for the semi-autonomous Chinese regions of Hong Kong and Macao.

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