State Department Warns Americans About Traveling to China

State Department Warns Americans About Traveling to China

A statement said that detentions resulting from the exit bans could last "for years" and those arrested would be subject to the "arbitrary enforcement of local laws".

The warning did not mention Meng or the Chinese nationals arrested in the USA on espionage allegations.

Updating a travel advisory, the State Department maintained its previous guidance that Americans should "exercise increased caution" in China but stopped short of discouraging visits.

"In most cases, United States 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. The Chinese also say they were not briefed on the reasons for Meng's arrest.

"This number has remained relatively stable", the official said.

"People who do go to China, I'm hoping they will raise this with their interlocutors to make clear that it is hurting China's image in the world, and it's going to make it harder for some people who want to travel to China", Robert Malley, the Crisis Group's president and a former member of the US national security council under president Barack Obama, said in an interview Thursday.

"Beijing hopes that Washington would contribute more towards building mutual trust and exchanges between two countries, instead of doing the opposite", he added.

Some observers believe the detentions of Kovrig, who works for the International Crisis Group, and Spavor, who is frequently consulted on matters linked to North Korea, were retaliatory actions following the arrest in Vancouver of Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who faces extradition to the United States.

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The rights of foreign nationals in China have received renewed focus because of public concern over the fate of three U.S. citizens accused of committing "economic crimes" in the country.

Meng faces extradition to the U.S. to face fraud charges, which she denies, linked to allegations of avoiding the USA sanctions on Iran.

The diplomatic trip, scheduled before last month's detentions, is being taken by members of the Canada-China Legislative Association, a bipartisan group of four MPs and two Senators with a shared interest in Canada-China relations.

They were barred from leaving China in November. Eight of them have since been released.

China says the two men were associated with jeopardizing state security.

Lu's briefing, posted in English translation to the ministry's website, was one of two cryptic Chinese government media events that deepened the mystery surrounding the arrests of Kovrig and Spavor.

The pair face accusations of harming national security.

According to news reports, the global affairs Canada on Thursday, said the most of its citizens detained in China since December 1 were no longer in custody.

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