As tensions continue to rise between America and China, a recent travel advisory put out by America likely won’t help ease anything.
On Monday, the United States updated its China travel advisory, citing “COVID-19 and arbitrary enforcement of local laws.”
Currently, China is at travel advisory level three: “Reconsider Travel.” There are only four levels of travel advisory, ranging from “Exercise Normal Precautions” to “Do Not Travel.”
“Reconsider travel to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), including the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), due COVID-19 and arbitrary enforcement of local laws,” the State Department advisory’s opening line states.
The COVID-19 reasoning is hardly a surprise, given that President Donald Trump previously enacted a ban prohibiting most travel to the U.S. from China when the pandemic first started to rear its ugly head. In fact, prior to Monday, China was at a travel advisory level four due to COVID-19, according to USA Today.
The “arbitrary enforcement of local laws” issue? That’s a bit more of an eyebrow-raiser.
“The PRC government arbitrarily enforces local laws, including by carrying out arbitrary and wrongful detentions and through the use of exit bans on U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries without due process of law,” the advisory states.
The U.S. warns that the PRC can use detentions and exit bans “to compel individuals to participate in PRC government investigation” and “to gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments.”
Those are not minor allegations and, again, will likely only exacerbate ongoing tensions between the United States and China.
“In most cases, U.S. citizens only become aware of an exit ban when they attempt to depart the PRC, and there is no reliable mechanism or legal process to find out how long the ban might continue or to contest it in a court of law,” the advisory says.
“U.S. citizens traveling or residing in the PRC or Hong Kong, 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 without due process of law.”
Illustrating perhaps one of the starkest differences between the U.S. and China, the advisory warns that “private electronic messages critical of the PRC government” could lead to detainment or deportation.
That’s a particularly jarring tidbit in the advisory, especially when you consider the endless criticism that President Donald Trump faces in all forms of media on a daily basis.
“The PRC government does not recognize dual nationality. U.S.-PRC citizens and U.S. citizens of Chinese heritage may be subject to additional scrutiny and harassment, and the PRC government may prevent the U.S. Embassy from providing consular services,” the advisory says.
This recent travel advisory is just the latest in a recent string of issues to rise up between the U.S. and China, including allegations that China tried to cover up the coronavirus and its origins, accusations of unfair trade practices and the communist regime’s treatment of Uighur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang autonomous region.