U.S. issues warning about 'arbitrary detention' if traveling to China, Hong Kong

The warning follows leaders of the Communist Chinese Party cracking down several months ago on the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong

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The U.S. and Chinese flags
The U.S. and Chinese flags
(Fred Dufour / Getty Images)
Updated: September 15, 2020 - 11:35am

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The U.S. issued a warning Tuesday advising potential travelers of “arbitrary detention” and “arbitrary enforcement of local laws” in the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong.

The advisory is an update to an earlier one suggesting Americans reconsider travel to the Communist Party-run country and its territory. It was issues following the political party's recent crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.

“The PRC government arbitrarily enforces local laws, including by carrying out arbitrary and wrongful detentions and through the use of exit bans on U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries without due process of law,” the advisory states.

“U.S. citizens traveling or residing in the PRC or Hong Kong, may be detained without access to U.S. consular services or information about their alleged crime. U.S. citizens may be subjected to prolonged interrogations and extended detention without due process of law."

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters at a briefing Tuesday that the U.S. “should not engage in unwarranted political manipulation” when issuing such advisories. 

“China has always protected the safety and legal rights of foreigners in China in accordance with law. China is one of the safest countries in the world,” Wang said. “Of course, foreigners in China also have an obligation to abide by Chinese laws.”

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