US warns against travel to China over ‘arbitrary’ enforcement of local laws, COVID-19 restrictions

US warns against travel to China over ‘arbitrary’ enforcement of local laws, COVID-19 restrictions

The U.S. State Department has warned against traveling to China as the East Asian country pursues a zero-COVID policy to contain its worst outbreak in two years.

April 12, 2022
The U.S. State Department has warned against traveling to China as the East Asian country pursues a
The travel advisory, which was issued on Monday, urged Americans to reconsider trips to certain parts of China due to the government’s “arbitrary enforcement of local laws and COVID-19 restrictions.”
The advisory specifically warned against travel plans to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Jilin Province due to “COVID-19-related restrictions, including the risk of parents and children being separated.”
Additionally, it urged people to reconsider travel to Hong Kong over “arbitrary enforcement of local laws,” which reportedly came after Beijing’s imposition of the National Security Law on June 30, 2020.
In mid-March, China saw its biggest COVID-19 surge in two years. But despite its zero-COVID policy, the country has struggled to contain the latest outbreak.
Subscribe to
NextShark's Newsletter

A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.

Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.

Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.

Shanghai, which was placed on a two-stage lockdown on March 28, reported a record 26,087 cases on Sunday. The lockdown was supposed to end on April 5 but was extended to cover the entire city’s 26 million residents.
In addition to Monday’s advisory, the State Department ordered the departure of non-emergency employees and their family members from the U.S.’ Shanghai Consulate. It cited the “surge in COVID-19 cases and the impact of restrictions related to the PRC’s response” as reasons behind its decision.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Zhao Lijian condemned the evacuation in a regular press briefing on Tuesday.
“We are strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to the U.S.’ politicizing the issue of personnel departure and using it as a tool,” said Zhao.
“We have made solemn representations with the U.S. side,” he added. “The U.S. should immediately stop attacking China’s anti-epidemic policies, stop politically manipulating the epidemic and stop smearing China.”
The move, however, has also frustrated several Americans currently residing in China.
“Many Americans in Shanghai were dismayed to hear of the previous consulate staff departures given the current situation,” Josef Gregory Mahoney, a professor of politics and international relations at East China Normal University in Shanghai, told Bloomberg.
He added, “This new order will certainly increase the impression that the situation is worsening despite indications to the contrary, or that this is political posturing on behalf of the U.S., or that consulate staff — who are already rather privileged — are unable to stomach the inconveniences that others are required to endure.”
      Carl Samson

      Carl Samson is a Senior Editor for NextShark




      Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.

      Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.

      We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.

      © 2023 NextShark, Inc. All rights reserved.