The People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the United States are now experiencing rising tensions. The independence of Taiwan and the spy balloon that was shot down in late February are only two of the issues that divide the two countries. In a recent address, President Joe Biden also called the PRC’s leader a dictator; in response, Beijing reacted to the statement as “an open political provocation,” according to NBC News. For Americans who are considering traveling to China for either business or pleasure, the State Department has just released a travel advisory.
Travel Warning Issued
Recently, the level of the travel advice was increased from level 2 to level 3, with a warning that Americans should think twice before visiting the mainland. This alert also applies to Hong Kong “due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws.” The Associated Press reported that the country recently sentenced a 78-year-old American citizen to life in prison for allegedly spying. The country also recently passed a comprehensive new Foreign Relations Law that promises to hold those who threaten China’s interests accountable.
Visitors from the United States to China run the risk of being wrongfully imprisoned. The Asian country has also tightened its exit restrictions, which could leave Americans stranded and at the mercy of the government. If authorities place someone under investigation or link them to an ongoing one, an exit ban could prevent them from leaving the country. Authorities may detain visitors at the border or forbid them from boarding an aircraft out of the country. US residents frequently are not aware of these restrictions until they attempt to leave the country.
Taking Necessary Precautions
Those who decide to visit in spite of the advisory warnings are advised by the State Department to stay away from certain activities, such as protests, photographing protests or protestors, and using narcotics while inside the PRC. Additionally, they advise being alert of their surroundings, keeping a low profile, and having a backup plan in case of need.
Several US government representatives have recently traveled to China. Just before Biden suggested in late June that President Xi Jinping was a dictator, Secretary of State Antony Blinken paid a visit. Currently, Janet Yellen, the Treasury Secretary, is in the nation on a four-day visit that started on July 6 when she touched down in Beijing.