Effective January first, all travel to China will be banned. The Chinese government is suffering a PR crisis after the clashes between pro-democracy protesters and security forces in Hong Kong. The US State Department has also issued a travel advisory to their citizens advising them to avoid all travel to China until there is clarity on the situation. Some analysts believe that this measure may be related to the Hong Kong protests as well as the mass arrests of Chinese citizens in the Pearl Harbor incident.
The Chinese communist government is clamping down hard on dissent. It has detained hundreds of rights activists and lawyers since September. The largest of these arrests took place within weeks of the June 4th Tianjiao protest where over a hundred people were detained. Activists have been detained for expressing opposition to the party line and even for reporting abuses against citizens. This raises concerns about the human rights practices in China and calls for more immediate action by the United States and other Western nations.
Since September, authorities have become far more aggressive in detaining citizens for any reason. They have used metal-based handcuffs and tightened restrictions on the internet. Internet cafes are being monitored and banned in certain cities. The state security has stepped up its use of “rage” or psychological techniques to disperse large groups of citizens.
Travel to China is impossible without at least some form of international travel insurance. There is now a worldwide fear about freedom of speech and increased surveillance of the internet. The state security has cracked down on independent media including the media groups which are critical of the Chinese government. Most foreign citizens are not allowed to access the internet or telephones while traveling abroad.
You should also be very leery about visiting China via another country because of the likelihood of you being arbitrarily detained or returned to your home country due to lack of valid identification or other human rights issues. For example, citizens of Canada can visit China provided they have valid work permits from that country. Unfortunately, in many cases these permits are revoked when tourists complain about poor treatment in China. You will need to provide valid identification at customs when transiting the country. Your travel insurance will allow you to stay in China with out the risk of getting returned to your home country.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not allow dual citizenship when it comes to its citizens. Laws regulating Chinese nationals’ travel abroad have been implemented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the State Council of Higher Education. These laws were issued in order to comply with China’s one-party rule which was imposed by Mao. You will need to register with the ministry to be able to leave and enter China.
Many airlines have implemented severe restrictions on leaving China and flying out to Hong Kong. Some airlines now refuse to leave the Chinese territory and fly over the Korean Peninsula. The Chinese government continues to impose travel restrictions across its borders particularly on citizens of Taiwan and Hong Kong. All flights to and from Hong Kong are now subject to the Chinese government’s One-China policy. This means that all flights to or from Hong Kong, regardless of the nationality are now banned from entering the mainland unless it is on a direct state-owned flight.
Travel to China does not enjoy a lot of freedom of movement like other nations. When traveling outside China, you are required to obtain exit or entry visas. These are required for all foreigners wishing to enter China. Unfortunately, there is no longer an easy way to obtain a Chinese visa even for those citizens that have their visa stamped upon arrival. Citizens of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and most people residing in the special administrative region of China cannot without penalty be obtained a Chinese visa without applying for a visa beforehand. You will not be able to apply for a visa online anymore since in April 2021 the central government announced that all applications would be screened under the same system as the mainland system.