Travel to China is a popular way of exploring the largest country in the world. With millions of people flocking to this country each year it is not uncommon to hear of crimes committed by tourists. When planning your trip to China, you should be aware of the risks and issues that may arise. It is important to be well informed before you travel and while you are there. There are risks of crime in any country but there are risks of crime in China as well.
The Chinese government has introduced some fairly strict policies for foreigners traveling to China. You should be aware of what these regulations are and be prepared to face some fines if you are caught violating them. The current Visa Waiver Program currently in place for travelers originating from China is considering one of the more strict visa restrictions in the world. There are visa restrictions for travelers originating from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau. There are also restrictions for travelers originating from Mexico and those traveling to Mexico.
Recently revised Chinese visa policy changes implemented on August 2021 require that all citizens of China obtaining a non-immigrant visa will have to obtain an immigrant visa prior to traveling to China. The reasoning behind this new policy is to prevent illegal immigration. Illegal immigration poses a significant risk to the security of China and the U.S. This risk is particularly present for those who have ties to criminal organizations or other undesirable elements.
There are also some indirect restrictions being imposed on Chinese travelers. There was an exit visa ban implemented on September 29th that prohibits citizens of certain cities from leaving the country for the duration of a three-month visit limit. The cities included are Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Xi’an. While the exit visa ban was implemented for a three month visit limit only it could easily be extended. The same is true for the rail freight exit ban that has been implemented between March and July.
A similar decision was imposed on travel to and within South Korea on July 12th. The decision was announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in response to recent incidents of harassment and violence towards South Korean tourists. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it is “urgently seeking clarification of the reports of the incidents from the Korean National Police Agency and the Inspector General of the Department of Foreign Affairs.” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its desire to provide all relevant information to the public on the situation. The police department responded to the request and has issued a travel advisory to its citizens stating that all travel advisories have been withdrawn.
Travel to China is still possible for citizens of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau. However, due to the implementation of the effective January 1st rule, foreigners traveling to China are required to obtain a visa prior to travel. The new rule is believed to be an attempt to curb the illegal travel of citizens to China and her many attractions. It is currently unclear how this new rule will affect visitors to the PRC. Many hotels have already reported increased room vacancies as a result of the January 1st deadline, although this will begin to subside once the rules are overturned.
In response to the growing issue of Chinese tourists being detained while attempting to travel abroad, the State-owned China International Airlines and another state-owned airline were forced to suspend flights to and from China. The two airlines together make up the largest international carrier to China, accounting for over thirteen million passengers in fiscal year 2021. This is good news for travelers looking to travel to China. On April 3rd, the Beijing flights were once again flying, but with restrictions. These measures were implemented to comply with Article 14 of the human rights advocacy report of China, which highlights the importance of respecting the privacy and freedom of those who have been detained.
This measure was imposed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and according to the ministry, the Beijing flight is one of the few that will resume after the implementation of these regulations. The Ministry of Transport issued a notice to the Beijing Capital International Airport, stating that all flights to and from China would be suspended from and including the previously published dates. According to the ministry, the Beijing Capital International Airport had failed to comply with the principles of equality of access and equal treatment of passengers, and were in violation of articles of the human rights of passengers traveling to China from abroad. As such, all flights to China from this airport will be suspended starting from February 16th. No passengers will be allowed to enter China from or including these dates, and all entry fees will be halted. This measure was immediately criticized by travelers, who expressed worry about the future of their holiday plans, and some even threatened to boycott flights to China from the three airports near them.