(UnitedVoice.com) – Tensions between the US and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have been on the uptick for quite some time now. The two nations are at odds on several matters, including the subject of Taiwan’s independence and the spy balloon that was shot down in late February. President Joe Biden also referred to the PRC’s leader as a dictator during a recent speech, which Beijing responded to, calling the move “an open political provocation,” per NBC News. The State Department has now issued a travel advisory for Americans considering visiting China, whether for business or leisure.
Travel Advisory Raised
The travel advisory has been raised to level three from level two in recent days, noting that Americans should reconsider travel to the mainland. Hong Kong is included in this notice as well “due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws.” The Associated Press reported that the increase in advisory levels could be due to both a sweeping new Foreign Relations Law that promises to hold those who threaten China’s interests accountable and the fact that the country recently sentenced a 78-year-old American citizen to life in prison for allegedly spying.
Americans who visit China could find themselves detained without merit (wrongful detention). The Asian nation has also stepped up its exit bans, which could see Americans trapped in the country at the mercy of the state. An exit ban could prevent someone from leaving the country if authorities place them under investigation or connect them to an ongoing one. Officials could seize travelers at the border or prevent them from boarding a flight out of the nation. Most of the time, US citizens wouldn’t be aware of these restrictions until they try to leave.
Taking Necessary Precautions
The State Department cautions those who do choose to travel despite the advisory warnings to avoid certain activities, including but not limited to protests, taking photos of protests or protestors, and consuming drugs while in the PRC. They also suggest having a contingency plan in place should an emergency occur, being aware of their surroundings, and keeping a low profile during their visit.
Several US officials have visited China in recent months. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited just before Biden insinuated President Xi Jinping was a dictator in late June. Now Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is visiting the country for a four-day trip that began with her landing in Beijing on Thursday, July 6.
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