US issues sweeping new travel warning for China, Hong Kong

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The cabin of an airplane. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

 BEIJING — The U.S. has issued a new advisory warning against travel to mainland China and Hong Kong, citing the risk of “arbitrary detention” and “arbitrary enforcement of local laws.”

The advisory issued Tuesday warned U.S. citizens that China imposes “arbitrary detention and exit bans” to compel cooperation with investigations, pressure family members to return to China from abroad, influence civil disputes and “gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments.”

In Hong Kong, it said China “unilaterally and arbitrarily exercises police and security power.”

It added that new legislation also covers offenses committed by non-Hong Kong residents, possibly subjecting U.S. citizens who have publicly criticized China to a “heightened risk of arrest, detention, expulsion, or prosecution.”

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