Is Traveling to China Dangerous? New US State Department Travel Advisory

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Is Traveling to China Dangerous?

China is one the most popular destinations with 60.7 million visitors in 2017. It ranks fourth in the world, after France, Spain and the United States. But is it safe for Americans?

The US State Department issued a travel advisory earlier this month, warning Americans to exercise increased caution when visiting China due to what it called arbitrary enforcement of local laws and special restrictions on dual U.S.-Chinese nationals.

The State Department says that 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.

Certain regions are singled out. “Extra security measures, such as security checks and increased levels of police presence, are common in the Xinjiang Uighur and Tibet Autonomous Regions. Authorities may impose curfews and travel restrictions on short notice.”

The State Department also said that 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.

The new warning is a level-two advisory. That means that those who travel to China should  use increased caution. A level-one advisory indicates travelers should exercise normal precautions and level-three would mean that you should reconsider travel altogether.

Let us know what you think. Would this advisory deter anyone from traveling to China?

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I am interested in traveling to the People’s Republic of China (not to be confused with the Republic of China on Taiwan) but am wary of going. I won’t pay for the expensive visa. I don’t want to bring my cell phone there and be on their spying list. I may someday go if there is a visa free period, say 3-5 days.

  2. Lol. Not sure you can be more overly and unnecessarily cautious. Basically, if you don’t have any connections to activities the Chinese government is interested in, or can be used as bait for a relative abroad that they want to coerce back into the country, you should be completely fine.

    • Great question and I am not sure how the US views those territories as it pertains to China. I think those are less likely to cause an issue but that is just my personal assumption.

    • Taiwan would not fall under China, because it is an independent country with its own government that is recognized by the US. China however does not, and believes it is part of China. I agree with Mark that Hong Kong and Macau are probably less likely to have an issue as those those territories governments are structured differently than Mainland China.

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