China says US travel advisory 'cannot stand up to scrutiny'

BEIJING — China on Friday rebutted a U.S. travel advisory that urges American nationals to "exercise increased caution" when travelling in the Communist Party-ruled country.

The advisory, which warns of the potential for arbitrary detentions, "cannot stand up to scrutiny," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang, who noted that 2.3 million Americans visited China between January and November 2018.

"I think this figure speaks volumes for the security condition in China," Lu said, adding that it far outnumbers the number of Chinese people visiting the U.S. "The U.S., however, has recently used various excuses to conduct gratuitous inspections and create obstacles for Chinese citizens entering the U.S."

The spokesman did not mention specific instances in which Chinese citizens encountered difficulty entering the U.S. An American official told the AP last May that Chinese graduate students studying in fields like robotics and aviation in the U.S. would be limited to one-year visas, while Chinese citizens seeking visas to work for companies on a U.S. Commerce Department list would need special clearance.

An updated U.S. State Department notice warns that China sometimes arbitrarily detains U.S. citizens or prevents them from leaving the country. The notice says the "exit bans" are imposed to compel Americans to facilitate government investigations or resolve business disputes. U.S. citizens of Chinese heritage may be subject to additional scrutiny, it adds.

"U.S. citizens may be subjected to prolonged interrogations and extended detention for reasons related to 'state security,'" the advisory says. "Security personnel may detain and/or deport U.S. citizens for sending private electronic messages critical of the Chinese government."

The notice is largely the same as one released a year ago, with the addition of a paragraph noting security checks and increased police presence in the Xinjiang and Tibet regions.

Related News

United passenger's removal sparks outrage in China

Apr 11, 2017

Images of a bloodied passenger being forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight drew widespread...

Climbing Mount Tai: 6,000 steps up China's sacred...

May 9, 2017

Taishan, or Mount Tai, is China's most sacred mountain

4 tons of garbage collected in China's Everest...

May 11, 2017

Chinese state media say volunteers have cleared four tons of garbage from the Chinese north side of...

China moves to expand DNA testing in Muslim region

May 16, 2017

A rights group and independent observers say China appears to be laying the groundwork for the mass...

China rappers to Seoul: 'Big brother' opposes...

May 17, 2017

A rap group backed by China's government is warning South Korea in a video that "you're going too...

China conducts demolitions at Tibetan Buddhist...

May 19, 2017

Chinese authorities in southwestern Sichuan province have evicted followers and razed scores of...