Travel to China – Disguised Restrictions on Tourists
The United Nations (UN) released a report that said China has been imposing entry ban and closing down of some popular websites. The website contains information about Chinese tour, Chinese language, Chinese culture, etc. Many foreign travelers visiting China for a holiday have their personal information on their Facebook pages. Such acts have been condemned by the Chinese government as violation of privacy. The authorities have also imposed personal inspection of all travelers entering the country.
There have been reports that the Chinese government has issued orders to all airlines to prevent passengers from carrying digital camera, electronic devices, laptops, and other digital equipment in the cabin. This is a new set of travel restrictions that have been imposed by the airline industry. The measures have been imposed on all airlines flying to or from the Chinese city of Shanghai. In addition to that, all foreign airlines that want to serve China now need to apply for approval to enter into the country through the flights operated by the Civil Aviation Administration of China. The new set of travel restrictions have affected all international flights, which fly to or from the following cities: Beijing, Chengdu, Hong Kong, Kaikoura, Macau, Hangzhou, Shenyang, and Taipei.
There were reports that at present, only around thirty to fifty percent of the passengers leaving from these cities choose to leave the country because of these new restrictions. One reason for the relaxation of controls is the fact that China wants to attract tourists. The world’s second-largest economy relies on tourism for its survival. When more people are visiting China, the demand for cheap products rises. At present, the market for goods manufactured in China is very competitive.
A similar set of travel restrictions was imposed on flights to and from Manila, Philippines. On February 1st, the Philippine government informed all airlines in the country that they would impose a total ban on all flights to and from the following destinations: Baguio City, Lagazpi City, Cebu City, Manila, Pasig, Puerto Galera, Davao, Mandaluyong, Manila, and San Quentin. The reasons cited for this are that Chinese officials believe that the activities in these cities would hamper the productivity of their businesses in the long run. The Philippine government also fears that the resumption of flights in these areas may increase the influx of drugs and criminals into the country.
Another set of travel curbs have been implemented as of effective January 1st, which prohibit the carriage of foreign currency by all airlines flying to and from China. This includes flights to and from sensitive countries in the region such as Taiwan and Hong Kong. The currencies that can now be carried are the Chinese Yuan and the US dollar. The ban on the carriage of foreign currency by flights coming from and going to the aforementioned countries have caused airlines to suspend flights to and from these locations altogether.
On August 18th, the People’s Republic of China within 14 days prior to the implementation of the effective January 1st law, the State-Owned Airlines of China had notified all of its airlines that they are forbidden to transport passengers from or to the following destinations: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing Xianjiao, Beijing Guilin, Hangzhou, Shenyang, Taipei, and Hong Kong. This ban affects the travel to and from all of these cities including all of their airports except for the one in Taipei, which is only for international flights. Despite this effective ban, many travelers still plan to visit these cities during the month of August. The main reason for this discrepancy lies in the fact that the Chinese government has not officially lifted the ban on air travel to and from China during this period.
One of the most interesting restrictions that the Chinese government has placed upon travelers visiting China is that they are strictly prohibited from traveling to or from Taiwan. The reasons that the Chinese government has cited for this can vary from simply not wishing to antagonize the United States by putting the countries’ Relationships in jeopardy to wanting to uphold Article 24, which states that all nations have an interest in not giving sanctuary to fugitives from justice. Travellers who have violated this Article 24 have been subject to arrest, prosecution and internment. This Act was implemented as a response to the repatriation of American citizens who had been rounded up and put into prison in China. Despite the implementation of these prohibitions, many travel agencies have still planned to transport citizens to and from China during the period of the January 1st martial law.
Whilst the enforcement of these social insurance policies remains unclear, it is clear that travellers are prohibited from travelling abroad if they have not obtained the written consent of a covered person in China. Individuals who have acquired the written consent of a covered individual and have travelled to China are required by law to produce a certificate of detention upon arrival in China. It is also important to note that travellers who have obtained the written consent of a covered person in China and who have travelled to or from Taiwan are also banned from travelling back to or within China unless they can provide evidence of a valid travel plan that has been approved by the Chinese authorities. Travellers who have obtained the written consent of a covered individual in China and who wish to travel abroad are therefore required by law to demonstrate proof of a covered origin and destination.