State Department issues new China travel warning

Travel to China is getting risky for U.S. citizens- especially those with dual U.S.-Chinese citizenship according to the U.S. State Department

Travel to China is getting risky for U.S. citizens- especially those with dual U.S.-Chinese citizenship according to the U.S. State Department

The US state department has urged Americans to "exercise increased caution" when travelling to China after a spate of high-profile detentions. "China always welcomes foreign citizens - including U.S. citizens - to visit China, and protects their security and legal rights, including freedom of entry and exit".

The latest advice also warns of "special restrictions" on those who hold dual US-Chinese citizenship.

The State Department also said Chinese authorities can detain U.S. citizens for years by using "exit bans" that Americans might not be aware of until they try to leave the country.

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US-Chinese citizens and US citizens of Chinese heritage may be subject to additional scrutiny and harassment, and China may prevent the US Embassy from providing consular services, it said.

In addition, millions of Americans visit China every year without incident. "The previous Travel Advisory for China was issued in January 2018; the new Advisory was updated as part of the regular annual review and reaffirms China at a Level 2", the official said.

China has detained 13 Canadians since early December when a senior executive of Chinese telecom giant Huawei was arrested in Vancouver on a United States request for alleged violations of Washington's sanctions on Iran, according to Ottawa.

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China last month detained two Canadians, a former diplomat and a businessman, on charges of activities that "endanger China's security".

United States prosecutors have accused her of misleading banks about transactions linked to Iran, putting the lenders at risk of violating Washington's sanctions. Earlier on Thursday, China's top prosecutor said the two Canadians had "without a doubt" violated the law. The notice says the "exit bans" are imposed to compel Americans to facilitate government investigations or resolve business disputes.

Beijing past year appeared to hit back at Washington's travel advice by issuing its own guidance to Chinese coming to the USA, warning of the risk of mass shootings and the high cost of healthcare as well as robberies, searches and seizures by customs agents, telecommunications fraud and natural disasters.

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It also warned of last-minute security checks and curfews in Xinjiang and Tibet, two minority-dominated regions where Beijing has tightened its grip.

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