TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The U.S. State Department has updated its travel advisory for U.S. citizens traveling to China.
On Jan. 3, the U.S. government altered its advisory to detail information on the use of “exit bans,” and to include extra cautionary statements for dual nationals, and U.S. citizens of Chinese heritage.
The new advisory is an update to the previous advisory issued Jan. 22, 2018. The U.S. government says travelers should still “Exercise Increased Caution” on trips to China, which is the second level of advisory on a four tier system.
The first line of the advisory cites the “arbitrary enforcement of local laws as well as special restrictions on dual U.S.-Chinese nationals.” The advisory seems to advise extra caution for those with dual nationality and U.S. citizens of Chinese heritage.
The Chinese government has been observed enforcing “exit bans” on U.S. citizens. The State Department notes that the government may selectively enforce an “exit ban” for the following purposes.
-to compel U.S. citizens to participate in Chinese government investigations,
-to lure individuals back to China from abroad, and
-to aid Chinese authorities in resolving civil disputes in favor of Chinese parties.
After the arrest of several Canadian citizens amid the ongoing row over the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, the U.S. government is now cautioning U.S. citizens to be aware of the possibility of “extended detentions” by Chinese authorities for reasons related to “state security.”
The advisory also warns of sending private electronic messages critical of the Chinese government.
“U.S. citizens may be detained without access to U.S. consular services or information about their alleged crime. U.S. citizens may be subjected to prolonged interrogations and extended detention for reasons related to “state security.” Security personnel may detain and/or deport U.S. citizens for sending private electronic messages critical of the Chinese government.”
The other noticeable change from last year’s advisory is the specific mention of the “Xinjiang Uighur and Tibet Autonomous Regions,” where increased security measures and police presence are likely.