U.S. State Department urges ‘increased caution’ when traveling to China

The U.S. State Department has updated its warning on travel to China, urging visitors to “exercise increased caution.”

China now has a Level 2 travel warning. The State Department has four levels of warnings. Level 4 is the most serious; it means “Do Not Travel” to the particular country.

The department attributed the warning to “arbitrary enforcement of local laws as well as special restrictions on dual U.S.-Chinese nationals.”

It says that China has been issuing “exit bans” on U.S. citizens, prohibiting them from leaving the country and sometimes keeping them there for years.

“China uses exit bans coercively,” the department says, “to compel U.S. citizens to participate in Chinese government investigations, to lure individuals back to China from abroad, and to aid Chinese authorities in resolving civil disputes in favor of Chinese parties.”

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