DHARAMSALA, Jan 5: The US has warned its citizens that they may face arbitrary detention and the risk of a long spell in prison if they travel to China.
Warning Americans that they may not be able to return home if they travel to China, the State Department issued a new china travel advisory urging increased caution.
“Chinese authorities have asserted broad authority to prohibit U.S. citizens from leaving China by using ‘exit bans,’ sometimes keeping U.S. citizens in China for years,” the advisory said.
The State Department stated that exit bans can be used to “compel U.S. citizens to participate in Chinese government investigations, to lure individuals back to China from abroad, and to aid Chinese authorities in resolving civil disputes in favour of Chinese parties.”
The new China travel advisory is a level-two advisory, which urges increased caution. The advisory urged Americans to “exercise increased caution” in the country “due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws as well as special restrictions on dual U.S.-Chinese nationals.”
The advisory follows the detention by Chinese authorities in December of two Canadians.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump signed into law on Monday, the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act, a wide-ranging new Asian-security law to counter growing Chinese military power in the region and to bolster comprehensive American cooperation with Asian countries.
Lately, the relationship between the US and China are on the wane from many fronts be it the trade war or their armed forces engaged in a standoff in the disputed South China Sea.
The US’ acting Secretary of Defence has also issued cautions against China on his first full day in his new role at the Pentagon.
Patrick M. Shanahan, the acting US defence secretary has reportedly singled out China as a key priority in a “great power competition” at a special meeting of all the military service secretaries and the undersecretaries of defence at the Pentagon on Wednesday.