Jan. 4 (UPI) — The U.S. State Department issued an updated travel advisory Thursday for Americans traveling to China, warning of “exit bans” for some travelers.
Thursday’s Level 2 advisory warned of “arbitrary enforcement of local laws as well as special restrictions on dual U.S.-Chinese nationals” and Chinese authorities asserting broad authority to prohibit U.S. citizens from leaving and using the exit bans “coercively.”
It updated a previous advisory issued last year to note the bans are used to lure individuals back to China from abroad, aid Chinese authorities in resolving civil disputes in favor of Chinese parties and compel U.S. citizens to participate in Chinese government investigations.
Additionally, the State Department warned extra security measures, such as security checks and increased levels of police presence, are common in the Xinjiang Uighur and Tibet autonomous regions and authorities may impose curfews and travel restrictions on short notice.
“In most cases, U.S. 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. U.S. citizens under exit bans have been harassed and threatened,” the advisory stated.
The advisory noted China doesn’t recognize dual nationality and U.S.-Chinese citizens and U.S. citizens of Chinese heritage may be subject to “additional scrutiny and harassment.”
China may also prevent the U.S. Embassy from providing consular services to U.S. travelers.
The State Department advised U.S. travelers to enter China on a U.S. passport with a valid Chinese visa and keep it with you and ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or the nearest consulate immediately if arrested.