China Says US Travel Advisory is Overstated

Chinese officials are striking back at a heightened State Department advisory for Americans visiting China.

The advisory, issued yesterday, urges Americans to exercise increased caution when visiting the Asian country claiming that “Chinese authorities have asserted broad authority to prohibit U.S. citizens from leaving China by using exit bans, sometimes keeping U.S. citizens in China for years.”

The advisory goes on state that Americans visiting China may be subject to arbitrary enforcement of local laws and that there are special restrictions on dual U.S.-Chinese nationals.

China on Friday rebutted the State Department’s description of the dangers associated with traveling to the country, according to ABC News.

Chinese officials pointed out that the advisory, particularly the claims of arbitrary detentions, “cannot stand up to scrutiny” when compared to the facts associated with the millions of travelers visiting China without incident.

In particular, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang 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, according to ABC News, 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 ABC News report says 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 just one-year visas. Also, Chinese citizens seeking visas to work for companies on a U.S. Commerce Department list would need special clearance.

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