Published: Fri, January 04, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

U.S. warns citizens they could be prevented from leaving China

U.S. warns citizens they could be prevented from leaving China

All three are USA citizens.

"Chinese authorities have asserted broad authority to prohibit USA citizens from leaving China by using 'exit bans, ' sometimes keeping US citizens in China for years", the advisory said.

The Level 2 advisory is concerned with the possibility of China luring Chinese nationals and U.S. citizens of Chinese descent to enter China in order "to participate in Chinese government investigations" and 'aid Chinese authorities in resolving civil disputes in favor of Chinese parties'.

The department warned of "arbitrary enforcement of local laws", sudden prohibitions on exiting the country and harassment of USA citizens of Chinese heritage.

"Security personnel may detain and/or deport United States citizens for sending private electronic messages critical of the Chinese government", it continued.

"In most cases, US 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".

The advisory also indicates that US-Chinese citizens or Americans of Chinese heritage are especially vulnerable to "additional scrutiny and harassment".

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China, the travel advisory says, does not recognize dual nationality.

In a recent high-profile case, Victor and Cynthia Liu, and their mother, Sandra Han, are believed to have been prevented from leaving China. where they have been held since June.

Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat and an adviser with the International Crisis Group (ICG) thinktank, and businessman Michael Spavor, were detained after Canadian police arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at the request of the US.

Their detentions followed the arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who was held in Vancouver at the request of United States prosecutors on 1 December.

If arrested or detained, the State Department urges citizens to ask police to notify the US Embassy immediately.

Meng's arrest shook fincnail markets over concerns it would exacerbate US-China tensions as the countries seek to negotiate their way out of a bitter trade dispute which has seen Washington slap tariffs on $250bn worth of Chinese goods, and Beijing responding in kind.

A Level 1 advisory asks the "Exercise of Normal Precautions.' Level 3 on the advisor rankings is 'Reconsider Travel" and the highest Level 4, 'Do Not Travel, ' is reserved for nations in chaos like Yemen or Syria, or adversarial nations to the USA like Iran or North Korea.

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