Travel to China During the Chinese New Year

Travel to China

Travel to China During the Chinese New Year

When did The Travel Restriction to China start? The U.S. State Department first released a Level 4: Don’t Travel to China advisory on travel to both the Shanghai region and the rest of the Chinese provinces where the largest city of Wuhan lies. A worldwide travel ban was put in place by China on January 1, 2021, with some reported instances in the United States as well. If you are traveling to China, there are ways to avoid being caught without the correct visas.

The first Chinese ban came after Chinese officials cracked down on rumors and corruption in the country. According to Chinese state media, the rumors included reports of the US not releasing a prison to an imprisoned Chinese journalist. A US citizen who was traveling to China was denied entry at the embassy in November due to what authorities called “unauthorized enterances.” There have also been stories of Chinese workers who overstayed their working permits, taking large paychecks home with them. These stories are happening more often, which means the ban on travel to China has become a bit of a double-edged sword.

The second Chinese travel advisory, released in January, caused even more confusion among Chinese citizens. This time, the State Department reminded travelers that it is now illegal to overstay in any part of the country, regardless of the reason. The State Department has also reminded all citizens of their obligations when it comes to working in China. If employed by a foreign company, a worker must obtain a work permit from the Chinese government or an equivalent employment certificate. If a Chinese worker cannot find his or her work permit, they may be forced to depart the country.

In this case, however, it appears that the Chinese authorities were being less than forthcoming about the details of these policies. According to the State Department, “The department deplores reports of misrepresentation of facts by Chinese officials and companies.” The United States consulate in China, nevertheless, issued a travel advisory last week saying, “American citizens should report any incidence of non-visitateness due to reasons such as business or travel.” The advisory went on to warn United States citizens, “There is currently no travel warning for China.” The State Department did not immediately release a list of countries or cities where American travelers are advised to avoid visiting during the Chinese New Year. Neither has the Department issued any travel warnings for the Chinese New Year itself.

There is no travel advisory for the current Chinese holiday year, and the State Department has not issued one for that time either. It appears that, despite the lack of a travel advisory, Chinese state media has issued a level 4 travel advisory for the period between mid-January and mid-February. This level 4 travel advisories is classified by the Chinese government as a “high level alert,” and the State Department have not yet issued one for that time. The reason for this level of alert is unclear. Most media sources in the English speaking world interpret this level of alert as a travel ban, and therefore a ban on all travel to China.

The State Department has not issued any travel restrictions for the next scheduled Chinese New Year, which takes place in late February/early March. Nor have they offered any explanation for their contradictory statements. The question of a potential travel ban on visits by U.S. citizens to particular cities in China is especially troublesome. If the Chinese government does impose a ban on some U.S. cities, then tourists will find that they are unable to visit many popular Chinese cities during that period of time. If a ban is only proposed in January, then by the end of February, many cities across the United States will be welcoming Chinese tourists. At the same time, millions of Chinese tourists will be looking to visit other parts of the world during that period of time.

As far as the exact reasons for the Chinese government’s interest in hosting the Olympics and the coming Chinese New Year, there are several. One possible reason could be that China does not fully recognize the existence of Taiwan. Taiwan is considered a province of China, and China would like to maintain its claim to that area. Another possible motivation is that China is irritated by the presence of the United States Navy in the South China Sea, which it considers a violation of its territorial waters. A third possibility is that China would like to gain access to the sea lanes through which major global shipping routes pass through, particularly the ports of southeast Asia, which it covets as supplies and materials for its economic development. All of these factors could help to justify a ban on U.S. travel to China during the 2021 timeframe.

Beyond the question of a potential travel ban, the question of how to interact with a local Chinese embassy when planning a trip there is also important. While it is possible to make arrangements with the Chinese embassy prior to departure for free treatment, language lessons, or whatever, arranging to have a translator or interpreter to accompany you for your trip there can be an invaluable assistance. The same thing can be done for any other foreign national visiting the area. It is always useful to have at least one fluent speaker with you, especially if you will need the services of a Chinese translator or interpreter while you are in the area.