Chinese National Being Charged With Exporting Products to USA From China
The implementation of entry ban on Chinese tourists has caused quite a stir in the foreign community. Many foreign nationals residing in China are now unable to leave the country for vacations or business trips. While some criticisms suggested that this measure is technically implemented by the government, it is clearly an internal matter for China. It can be speculated that the Chinese government may use this as a means of (partly) deflecting attention from the economic downturn. This does not necessarily mean that the implementation of the travel advisory will be ineffective; rather, the measures are aimed at limiting the impact of the global economic slowdown to a certain degree.
Although there has been no formal announcement from the Chinese government regarding their plans to impose travel restrictions to other countries, it is safe to assume that they are coming. Reports suggest that the bans will be implemented soon. This is most likely to happen during the current Chinese New Year holidays when many foreigners take part in the celebrations to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. Official sources have issued statements saying that all Chinese state-owned companies are forbidden from engaging in any action that may result in the violation of the travel advisories. In addition, all Chinese national holiday parades are also expected to implement these bans.
There were reports that the bans are targeted at foreigners who usually come to China on official travel or business trips. These include citizens of the US, British, German, Canadian, Australian, Indian, and Japanese citizens. According to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all such foreigners are banned from entering China for one month. They will also be restricted from traveling to any of China’s four main cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Macau. Foreigners who breach the restrictions may face criminal prosecution. On the other hand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also announced that the restrictions would not affect Hong Kong businessmen and tourists who enter the Chinese territory for personal visits.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications published a notice on its website about the suspension of flights to China. The notice also says that all airports in China have been stopped from operating scheduled flights for the period of February 1st to April 8th. The notice also says that the Ministry of Transport will request all foreign airlines which have flights to China to suspend operations during this period. Some airlines have already informed their counterparts in China about the measures.
In relation to the issue of foreigners detained in China, there is another significant development. The whereabouts of Lingham was known to Chinese authorities since March 2021. But on August 5th she was detained by Chinese police while visiting relatives in Fujian province. In the same day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a similar message to the press saying that their representative in Fujian will visit Lingham on the next possible date. This is a clear indication that she is being detained for reasons relating to her work as a nun.
As the International Business Times blog reported on Wednesday, Lingham’s relatives in Fujian received a call from the Chinese consulate in the US saying that their relative was ill and needed urgent medical attention. When the family visited the consulate earlier in the month, there were no medical staff to provide assistance. On the day of her illness, her uncle was permitted to visit her in-laws in the presence of his visa agent. According to the blog, Lingham remained in the same hospital up to the eve of her death. On January 12th, Chinese authorities called the family to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where her body was present, but there was no life sign visible.
Another case of a Chinese national detained traveling outside of China involved American citizen Luke Detweiler. In June 2021, Detweiler was traveling to Micronesia with his wife and children. He had arranged to enter Mexico by foot through San Diego. However, his visa expired before he departed for Micronesia, and he was subsequently detained at the Los Angeles airport while attempting to return to China. According to the LA Times, the Chinese consulate notified American authorities that Detweiler had a visa approved for Mexico and was being held in the county jail on charges of exporting goods without commercial authority. The Chinese government did not release any additional information.
It is important to note that the Chinese government has consistently stated that it will not issue visas or restrictions to travelers from certain countries without prior notice. For example, the Chinese government announced in January that it would not issue tourist visas for tourists traveling to the Philippines and would only issue travel visas to Chinese nationals traveling to Mexico. Although the Chinese government did not issue travel visas for Americans who entered Mexico using their Chinese visa, it did issue travel visas to Chinese nationals who were apprehended at the Los Angeles airport upon returning to China. It is unclear whether the US government notified the Chinese embassy that Detweiler was a US citizen before detaining him.