The US State Department has warned Americans to “exercise increased caution” when traveling to China amid an escalation of tensions between the two countries.
US citizens should “exercise increased caution in China due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws as well as special restrictions on dual US-Chinese nationals,” the State Department warned on its website on Thursday.
The US authority warned that Chinese law enforcement agencies could stop US citizens traveling to China, who are subjected to “exit bans”, from leaving the country for an extended period of time due to “state security”.
“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,” it said, further warning that, “US citizens may be detained without access to US consular services.”
The US authority noted that the Chinese government did not recognize dual nationality of US-Chinese citizens, especially warning Americans traveling to the restive Xinjiang Uighur and Tibet Autonomous Regions.
The US State Department’s warning came after the arrest last month of a top executive of Chinese telecom giant Huawei in Canada. The arrest in Vancouver of Meng Wanzhou, one of the vice chairs on the Chinese technology company’s board, set off a diplomatic commotion.
Meng, who is also the daughter of the company’s founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested on suspicion of violating the US sanctions against Iran. She is now facing extradition from Canada to the US.
Beijing has urged Washington to drop its extradition request, allowing Meng to exit Canada. Meng’s arrest and “exit ban” sparked huge protest in Beijing.