The current Chinese government has implemented an extensive travel ban for citizens of Hong Kong and Taiwan. The reason for this is that both these countries have powerful pro-Beijing factions. The Chinese government sees local Taiwanese and Hong Kongers as too close to the United States. This is unfortunate, as Taiwan and Hong Kong are very close economically to the US. There is a massive trade between these two nations and there is always a need for American citizens to travel in China. There are several issues with the current Chinese government that have caused their travel ban, but they do not include political dissidents, human rights abuses, or property theft.
There is no doubt that China has a diverse population. There are very strong regional differences as well. The Chinese community in Los Angeles County is very conservative, but there is no organized Chinese resistance group. In Taiwan, which is a very politically correct country, citizens are generally liberal by Western standards but there are still Chinese that would be severely politically beaten if they did not have Chinese law on their side. In both cases, it is clear that the Chinese government uses powerful state security forces to arrest those citizens who dare to travel abroad and participate in certain events that are viewed with some negative expectations by Chinese leaders.
The reasons for these types of arrests are clearly related to Chinese national security. China is considered a rebellious nation due to its long history of revolution and expansion. Any individual or group that supports independence is politically unacceptable to the Chinese communist party. There is a huge prison camp system that is used to repress political prisoners and anyone who supports China’s existence as a nation is quickly beaten or imprisoned. It is absolutely clear that this is how China implements its controls over its citizens abroad.
There are many different types of political arrests that take place each day throughout the country. Many of these political prisoners are simply rounded up and taken away to a detention facility where they face punishment. Others have been disappeared and the reasons for their disappearances are often unclear. Some of the more obvious reasons for these disappearances can be beatings or death sentences meted out to peaceful protesters by Chinese authorities. Whatever the reason for a Chinese citizen being detained abroad, many travelers are often afraid that they will face immediate trouble once they arrive in China.
Because there are no legal protections in place for Chinese citizens wishing to travel abroad, they must rely on their own knowledge of Chinese law and current affairs to make it through the dangerous Chinese prison system. Travel to China is a privilege that requires careful planning and preparations. If you are unsure where to begin the process of traveling to China, you can find help by contacting either the American Consulate in Hong Kong or the Department of State’s China Division.
One of the most important decisions you will face when traveling to China is choosing your airline carrier. Most Chinese state-owned airlines are barred from providing flights to and from the United States. Instead, all flights to and from China are operated by local airlines that are closely supervised by the Chinese government. Even when flights are advertised as coming from the US, it is important to contact the airline company before purchasing the tickets to confirm that it actually does come from the US. This is especially important when flying between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Beijing, China, which are considered among the most high-risk routes for American travelers.
Another issue that frequently arises for American travelers en route to China is the enforcement of their legal rights when there is a travel ban. There have been cases of American travelers who have been detained by the Chinese authorities after traveling without proper documentation. Traveling without the proper documents to gain entrance into China could easily land you in prison. There are a variety of other legal inconveniences that may arise when traveling to China. Make sure you research your options with the authorities to avoid the risk of receiving harsh punishments.
American travelers originating in China should also be aware of the possibility of traveling without a visa. Although China has not implemented visa restrictions on its citizens, the Chinese government does tightly control travel to and from China and has made it a requirement for travelers originating from the US to obtain a Chinese visa upon arrival. However, there are certain routes that are offered to American citizens that may circumvent the visa restrictions. Consult with an expert travel agent if you wish to take advantage of these options.