US warns citizens of arbitrary action in China

Geraldine Edwards
January 4, 2019

Thursday's Level 2 advisory warned of "arbitrary enforcement of local laws as well as special restrictions on dual U.S".

China on Friday rebutted a advisory that urges American nationals to "exercise increased caution" when travelling in the Communist Party-ruled country.

The State Department warned that citizens "may be detained without access to USA consular services or information about their alleged crime".

"Chinese nationals" and Chinese authorities asserting broad authority to prohibit US citizens from leaving and using the exit bans "coercively". "Chinese citizens and USA citizens of Chinese heritage may be subject to additional scrutiny and harassment, and China may prevent the US embassy from providing consular services". "Chinese nationals." However, it expanded upon the potential risks posed to United States citizens by the country's exit bans.

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It advises travelling on a United States passport with a valid Chinese visa and asking officials to notify the U.S. embassy immediately if you are detained or arrested.

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said in a Twitter post in November that "these Americans need to be allowed to return home".

China and Canada both said the case was different to that of Mr Kovrig and Mr Spavor who stand accused of harming national security.

China's actions followed the December 1 arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of the company's founder, in Canada on suspicion of failing to comply with USA sanctions against Iran.

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She faces extradition to the USA to face fraud charges, which she denies, that are linked to allegations of avoiding United States sanctions on Iran.

On Thursday, China's prosecutor general said the pair had "violated our country's laws and regulations" and were being investigated.

The bans are sometimes used to force Americans to cooperate in Chinese government investigations, to aid authorities trying to resolve civil suits and to "lure" people back to China from overseas, the department said.

The notice is largely the same as one released a year ago, with the addition of a paragraph noting security checks and increased police presence in the Xinjiang and Tibet regions.

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Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang hit back at a regular press briefing in Beijing Friday.

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