How to Protect Yourself When Traveling to China
Chinese officials and citizens have been tight-lipped regarding the situation of travel to China. The PRC has not issued any travel advisory. However, there have been rumors that travellers to China could be subjected to searches and questioning at the airports. There are reports of incidents where foreigners were detained at the airports. If this is the case, please take all necessary precautions to avoid problems. Do not risk your personal belongings or money in China.
Effective January 14th The People’s Republic of China announced that all foreign nationals are forbidden from travelling to China without the consent of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Entry into the People’s Republic of China by foreign citizens was previously suspended on March 15th. The ministry did not specify why it had imposed the ban, nor did it provide any details on the procedure for application.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs offered no explanation on the banning of foreigners from travelling to China, stating only that the decision was implemented “effective March 16th”. No reason has been given as to why the decision was imposed on the Peoples Republic of China. However, there have been rumors that citizens of the People’s Republic of China were detained at the airports of Hong Kong and Taipei. The whereabouts of the travellers is currently unknown.
The situation regarding the inspection of travelers’ entries requirements in China has remained unclear since the suspension of entries was implemented. Most US citizens travelling to China have reported that they have not been required to show proof of valid travel insurance before departing for China. This means that travelers can enter China without undergoing the necessary procedures and formalities required by the Chinese government. It is advisable that all tourists check with their travelling insurance company whether they need to submit proof of insurance before leaving for China. This will help to ensure that your trip is free of any irregularities. You should also remember to carry your passport when travelling between the mainland and Hong Kong or between Macau and Shanghai.
An alarming incident has also raised concerns regarding the safety of travellers travelling to China. On 4 July, a Hong Kong man was found dead in his car in a parking lot on a motorway. The police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the death but believe that the deceased was infected with a deadly virus called “coronavirus”. This virus was previously found in bottled waters in Guangdong, South Korea. There is now a strong link to the death of the man, his travelling arrangements and his contact with a local woman who had come to his aid after he arrived in China.
Since this deadly virus was contracted by a foreign national, it is believed that Chinese authorities have introduced a raft of new travel restrictions, including a ban on the use of mobile phones while travelling abroad. As well as this, some Chinese citizens are being requested to hand over all electronic belongings, including laptops, to government offices before travelling abroad. All flights to China have been cancelled. Most cities in China have issued stern warnings to their citizens not to leave the country. Some cities have announced that they will enforce a total travel ban on the same month.
There are a number of measures that the Chinese government may impose on foreign tourists in an effort to prevent them from visiting areas contaminated by the deadly virus. For instance, China’s State Administration for Foreign Affairs (SFA) has instructed its citizens not to visit the areas of Szechuan and Yunnan. The SFA also says that travelers should avoid travelling to some seaside cities in China, which have fallen victim to what it terms “accidental contamination”. Foreign travelers may be detained or banned from traveling to these cities if they do not comply. Foreigners have also been banned from travelling to the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and the Muslim regions of the north, south and west.
If you want to take particular care when transiting China, it is advisable to carry the relevant documents with you and make sure you are aware of your rights as a foreign traveller. There are many situations where Chinese authorities can insist that you present yourself in a certain way. In addition, there are several specific acts that can result in long-term detention. If you feel that your rights have been violated, do not hesitate to get in contact with a lawyer who will ensure that you receive the full rights that are owed to you.