Thursday, 21 March, 2019

State Department Warns Americans About Traveling to China

US travel advisory China insists detained Canadians ‘without a doubt’ broke security laws
Leonard Rios | 07 January, 2019, 07:57

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

According to the advisory, the United States citizens under a ban may be "harassed and threatened" and "may be detained without access to USA consular services or information about their alleged crime". "From January to December, the American people that travelled to China reached 2.3 million, higher than the number of Chinese people travelling to the United States", said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang.

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

The two were detained after Canadian police arrested Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou on December 1 in Vancouver, at the request of the United States.

This after a Huawei CFO, who awaits extradition to the USA for misleading banks about transactions linked to Iran violating sanctions against that country, is out on bail and living in her Vancouver mansion.

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.

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. Michael Kovrig, who was on leave from Global Affairs Canada, and entrepreneur Michael Spavor.

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The warning adds: "China does not recognize dual nationality". "The U.S., however, has recently used various excuses to conduct gratuitous inspections and create obstacles for Chinese citizens entering the U.S".

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

"Of course, foreign citizens in China should also respect and abide by Chinese laws", Lu said.

They were barred from leaving China in November.

China says both men were suspected of endangering state security.

The two detained Canadians have only had one consular visit since their arrests. The next day, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying says the Canadian woman, Sarah McIver, received an administrative penalty for illegal employment.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has repeatedly called on China to release the men.

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