Things are going so splendidly with China right now, the U.S. has officially come out and warned citizens that there is a heightened risk of arbitrary law enforcement - and detention - for visitors to the Asian country.
The State Department is telling Americans to “exercise increased caution” in China, noting that there is a chance they could be banned from exiting the country, according to Reuters.
The U.S. State Department told citizens in China last week: "U.S. citizens may be detained without access to U.S. consular services or information about their alleged crime. U.S. citizens may face prolonged interrogations and extended detention for reasons related to state security."
The warning continued: “U.S. citizens may be detained without access to U.S. consular services or information about their alleged crime.”
U.S. citizens in China could wind up facing “prolonged interrogations and extended detention”, the State Department continued.
The alert comes at a point where tensions between China and the U.S. appear to be on the rise. Despite the Phase 1 trade deal supposedly going forward, blame for coronavirus pandemic and China's reporting of the virus to the world continue to be points of contention for the Trump administration.
At the same time, the U.S. has taken a far more hawkish view on Chinese companies doing business in the U.S., including names like Huawei, Hikvision and TikTok. The Trump administration is taking the threat of IP theft from these companies far more serious than China would probably like and, as a result, it appears the State Department believes China could wind up retaliating.
"Washington and Beijing recently exchanged visa bans against each other’s officials," Reuters also reporting, making note of how tensions continue to be on the rise.
Australia issued a similar warning to its citizens last week, which China called “completely ridiculous and disinformation.”