The U.S. warned its citizens against travel to China and Hong Kong in a new advisory issued on Tuesday, Sept. 15. The risk of “arbitrary detention” and “arbitrary enforcement of local laws” is the advisory reason.
“The PRC [Peoples Republic of China] 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,” reads the advisory.
Any messages sent by U.S. citizens electronically that criticize the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) may be cause for being detained and/or deported, and citizens may be prevented from accessing the U.S. Embassy in such cases.
“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,” the advisory said.
In August, the Trump administration suspended or terminated three bilateral agreements with Hong Kong.
These included reciprocal tax exemptions on income related to international shipping and extradition of convicted prisoners and fugitives.
Beijing violated its pledge to allow Hong Kong to keep its autonomy for 50 years after the 1997 handover by the former British colony.
“The Chinese Communist Party chose to crush the freedoms and autonomy of the people of Hong Kong,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted last month.
The Chinese Communist Party chose to crush the freedoms and autonomy of the people of Hong Kong. Because of the CCP’s actions, we are terminating or suspending three of our bilateral agreements with the territory.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 19, 2020
These steps came on the heels of the CCP Virus’s outbreak in Wuhan, China, after which President Trump has said they must be held accountable.
“China’s secrecy, deception, and cover-up allowed it to spread all over the world, 189 countries—and China must be held fully accountable,” the president said on July 5 from the White House.