The Chinese government’s decision to prohibit all travel to and from pertaining China was a huge surprise to the American traveler. Many people who did not understand what this meant thought it meant that the US was suddenly banning all travel to China. In fact the Chinese government issued a strongly worded statement denying the allegations. However, the ban was effective January 15th.
The reason for the Chinese government’s banning of all travel to and from China was their belief that China’s government was secretly trying to keep them from studying abroad. The Chinese government banned all travel from US citizens as part of their security measure to prevent students from studying abroad and American teachers from teaching China to students in China. These fears were based on information that the US was spying on China’s government officials. The information the US passed on may have included information on the activities of Chinese official and business leaders. There is no proof that any such activities took place, but the Chinese government feels it is their duty to protect their country from infiltration by outsiders.
The US was not the only country that implemented visa restrictions on Chinese citizens. Germany and other European countries have also implemented similar restrictions. This action was taken in light of the fact that China was once considered an American colony. The US government does not feel threatened by China and regards the Tibetans as Chinese citizens with rights equal to those citizens in every other country. Therefore the imposition of visa restrictions was seen as necessary to maintain good relations with China.
The measures to be imposed on Chinese tourists traveling to and from the US are not limited to travel ban. They include exit bans and quarantine periods. Some travelers coming from China to the US have been detained in airports for hours because they have insufficient documents to verify their identity. There have been reports of abuses against Chinese nationals in prisons in the country.
The US Department of State has ordered all Americans traveling to China to leave immediately. The reason given was that China’s handling of some American travelers from the Philippines and Thailand had been found to be incompatible with international standards. These issues were resolved on August 25th. Now all Americans traveling to China will need to apply for a visa before leaving. The Chinese government announced that the application for the visa would no longer be accepted. This is another measure being taken against illegal and unauthorised entry to the country.
The reason given for applying for a visa now is to prevent “unfair treatment” by Chinese authorities while travelling outside the country. Some Chinese citizens who left China to travel abroad and have been detained in various cities have complained of torture by Chinese security officials. The Foreign Ministry has issued a strongly worded statement against such allegations and announced that it will no longer accept visas from the US until it can investigate these allegations.
A similar situation arose with Canadian nationals who travelled to China last year. A report from the Canadian Embassy in China described how Chinese authorities took away a Canadian passport from a traveler while he was visiting his son in China. There have also been reports of Canadian citizens being forcibly disappeared by Chinese security forces. US citizens who overstayed their visas and later returned to China faced the same problem. The US government has not yet offered any explanation as to why it is not allowing its citizens to enter China.
On a lighter note, the Chinese government has also announced that it will be implementing an entry ban on all citizens travelling to south Korea. This comes a week after a former US diplomat was detained and questioned by Chinese officials over an alleged trip to south Korea. This follows the cancellation of a visit by the Chinese President, Mr. Hu Jintao, to South Korea. The move comes at a time when the two countries are locked in a fierce war of words over their maritime boundary, disputed islands, and other disputed issues. The Reuters news agency reported that the Chinese foreign ministry had denied reports that the government would impose an entry ban on all citizens travelling to south Korea.