Advice to travellers says that travel to China is relatively safe for all tourists. Whilst there have certainly been incidences of passport and petty theft, it’s very rare indeed. The chances of you being mugged whilst in China are very small. Whilst many Chinese people may be welcoming and helpful, there’s no need to be afraid or let the risk of crime affect your trip.
The chances of travelling to China with the intention of crossing the border into the USA or Canada are very small. Visa restrictions and problems with the North American/North Canadian American Border have put a stop to this. However, there are some other issues which could affect travelers originating from Europe, Australia or South America. Firstly, there will be no ATMs in China. This will make transactions with local currency more difficult, but if you prefer to use US or Canadian currency, then this isn’t a problem. In regards to visa restrictions for travelling to China, it’s not a big issue – you won’t need a visa to enter China at all, but you’ll need an international travel visa in order to purchase goods or receive payments.
Some merchants in China do impose an exit visa ban on some goods they import. This means that goods can’t leave the country until they’ve been cleared and is often accompanied by an exit permit. The same applies to travellers originating in the USA or Canada. However, in terms of travellers travelling to South Korea, the rules aren’t as stringent, as there is no exit ban implemented.
There are some restrictions on entering China via airports. It is important to check that these restrictions have been lifted before setting out. Items that aren’t allowed in China include fireworks, dangerous drugs, and any undeclared currency purchases. For those travelling to China via airports, travellers need to declare all goods for customs before leaving.
There are many restrictions and requirements for travellers travelling to China via another country. China International Airlines (CIB) and Sinotran Airlines has suspended all non-stop flights from Korea due to the Korean Peninsula Peace Study Act. For those travelling from the United Kingdom, Air China has implemented a new policy, effective January 1st, where all flights from Korea will require passengers to be seated in the same seat, regardless of the seat number. This is in preparation of the reunification of Korea. If you’re travelling to China via another country, you may have to change airlines.
Airlines in the People’s Republic of China have implemented a one-entry ban starting from January 1st. No flights will be permitted to proceed until an exit ban has been implemented. The one-entry travel ban has been implemented in response to the Korean Peninsula Peace Study Act, which passed in October. No flights will be permitted to enter into or leave China until an exit ban has been implemented. This is effective January 1st, so please check with your travel agent if you are travelling from the People’s Republic of China and plan to travel via another country.
As for the ongoing trade issues between member states imposing travel restrictions on China – there are a number of different factors at play here. One is the effect of the ILO Third World Travel indicator (ILO Third World Travel Report 2021), which gives detailed information on trade restrictions and duties. In particular, it lists four restrictions that have been implemented across all member states: a ban on all imports of Chinese goods, a ban on the importation of machinery and equipment manufactured by Chinese companies, a ban on the importation of live animals (such as pigs or poultry), and a ban on the export of luxury goods. A fifth restriction was added to the list, and this prohibits the funding of any activities aimed at creating further infrastructure in China. The information is provided in full accordance with the ILO’s Conventions Relating to International Travel, Tourism, and Insurance.
As you can see, although there are still some limitations on travel to China, there has been a marked loosening in the last year or so. Nowadays, anyone travelling to China will have far fewer worries about their trip being prevented due to the arrival of an entry ban or tightening of customs. However, there is always the risk of entering China without a valid passport, or being subjected to some other form of custom enforcement. This is especially important if you are travelling from the UK or another country with a less stringent immigration requirements. If you do not have a valid passport, it may be possible that you will not be permitted to leave China either, but this should be considered as an exceptional case and is unlikely to occur on a regular basis.