Personally I’m not someone who puts much weight on travel advisories from the US Department of State. Or at least I don’t take them as seriously as many, who think you absolutely shouldn’t travel to a place that has any sort of an advisory (which means you can’t travel to many places).
While the US issues advisories for all kinds of countries, they just released a new warning today, which some might find to be surprising.
The US Department of State has just issued a new Level 2 advisory, warning citizens to exercise increased caution in China “due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws as well as special restrictions on dual U.S.-Chinese nationals.” The concern is that China will detain US citizens without cause using exit bans.
Per the government warning:
Chinese authorities have asserted broad authority to prohibit U.S. citizens from leaving China by using ‘exit bans,’ sometimes keeping U.S. citizens in China for years. China uses exit bans coercively:
- 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.
In most cases, U.S. citizens only become aware of the exit ban when they attempt to depart China, and there is no method to find out how long the ban may continue. U.S. citizens under exit bans have been harassed and threatened.
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.
China does not recognize dual nationality. U.S.-Chinese citizens and U.S. citizens of Chinese heritage may be subject to additional scrutiny and harassment, and China may prevent the U.S. Embassy from providing consular services.
There are a total of 58 countries and regions with Level 2 advisories, including places like Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, and Guatemala.
So personally this wouldn’t impact whether or not I’d choose to travel to China, but it is interesting…
What do you make of this US Department of State China travel advisory?