US issues new warning over China travel, urging ‘increased caution’

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Original article from CNBC.

The U.S. State Department on Thursday issued a new travel warning about China, urging Americans to “exercise increased caution” in the country “due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws as well as special restrictions on dual U.S.-Chinese nationals.”

The State Department’s “Level 2” warning noted that Chinese authorities have “exit bans” to prevent U.S. citizens from leaving China, sometimes “for years.”

And the department said those bans are used “coercively” to compel Americans to participate in Chinese government investigations, “lure” people back to China from abroad, and to help Chinese authorities resolve civil disputes “in favor of Chinese parties.”

“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 warning said.

GP: China airport security travel

A woman crosses the security gate at the airport before she takes her flight in Beijing.Fred Dufour | AFP | Getty Images

The State Department in recent weeks have issued a number of Level 2 travel warnings for countries, includuing  the United Kingdom, Spain, Russia, France, Italy, Belgium, and the Netherlands, citing the risk of terrorism. Last week, that level of warning was issued for Burma, urging travelers to exercise increased caution … due to areas of civil unrest and armed conflict. ”

Level 2 travel warnings are one step more serious than Level 1 warnings, which urge travelers to “exercise normal precautions.” The next more serious warnings are Level 3, or “reconsider travel,” and Level 4, “Do not travel.”

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