The above mentioned is one of the more interesting outcomes of the Chinese government’s move to impose an entry ban onung the Silk Road. It has been widely speculated that the reasons for this could be related to China’s long term strategic interests in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. However, the immediate reaction was that it is a futile move by the Chinese government to implement what they see as their own ideals and interests. Some see this as a pre-emptive step against US efforts to promote democratic societies in Asia and promote free trade and economic liberalization. The reaction of the Chinese leadership to this latest move by the US is indicative of how they are very sensitive to any perception or criticism coming from the western world and particularly the US.
There is no doubt that the US needs to understand and realize that its recent actions in imposing a naval blockade on the disputed islands in the South China Sea are entirely in accordance with international law and behavior. On the other hand, the Chinese leadership will continue to do whatever they wish within the present framework of events and that includes including the enforcement of their own restrictive entry requirements for travelers to China. The current situation has been quite helpful to the Chinese authorities in formulating their own set of rules and regulations. That explains why there is no mention of the July 29 statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which strongly condemned the US move to impose a naval blockade on China’s coast. Instead the ministry released a document which is largely boilerplate and not very informative.
The travel advisory published by the U.S. embassy in China makes reference to the possibility of detention of travelers to China. The warning refers to “severe penalties” that could be incurred by people who do not heed U.S. warnings about their plans to visit China or if they commit “crimes that hurt Chinese citizens.” The document goes on to threaten that if such laws are not strictly followed by foreign nationals traveling to China, the United States would impose similar measures on its own citizens traveling to China. This is not a subtle threat and it was immediately condemned by the Chinese government as “nonsense.”
The State Council of China released a report on january that harshly criticized the U.S. Department of State for publicly making statements on the subject without citing any source. On January 7th the Chinese communist party issued a document which says that all foreign nationals should abide by the July 29th restrictions. “If foreigners continue to ignore Chinese law and foreign nationals travel to China without following the stipulated procedures and regulations, then they will be subjected to severe punishment,” the document said. On January 8th the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued another travel advisory against the “criminalization and stigmatization of foreigners’ private and personal information.”
The July 29 statement referred to the current Chinese law on travel to China by foreigners. It stipulated that foreigners wishing to enter the country could only do so through the formal channels of the Chinese government. They could not leave the country without the consent of the Chinese State Council. These channels are currently being monitored and controlled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If foreigners refuse to comply, they can be banned from leaving China and their possessions can be seized.
The Chinese State Council has also issued a number of important directives to its citizens regarding travel to and within China. On january the authorities released an important document which stipulates that all travel requests made by Chinese nationals must pass through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before reaching the consulate of their own choice. This makes it easier for Chinese nationals applying for a visa to apply for it online. This measure was implemented in response to criticisms of the current process of issuing visas by the American authorities.
The authorities have also issued travel advice to citizens who are not authorized to work in China or intending to work in China. This includes people intending to become members of the Chinese community in Hong Kong. The travel advice emphasizes that foreign members of the Chinese community in Hong Kong must seek the approval of the local Chinese consulate before travelling to China. If the application is approved, it is advised to arrange for a work permit to be produced upon arrival in China. This is required by all Chinese nationals who are travelling outside China to access work. For people who enter China without the necessary documentation, they may face arrest and possible detention.
The travel advisory also reminds citizens of their rights and responsibilities when it comes to their consular responsibilities to protect them from unlawful detention and deportation. It is advised that they ensure that they understand the requirements of their consular postings and that they convey these to the relevant authorities in China. In addition, the travel advice warns against carrying any suspicious material or documents from the country. For example, the Chinese government considers the possession of counterfeit currency to be a criminal offence. If citizens are caught violating the law, they may be subjected to arrest and prosecution.