The United States and the United Kingdom have warned that there is a risk of arbitrary arrests in China and Hong Kong in an update of travel advice for citizens.
US advice urged citizens to reconsider their trip to Hong Kong, citing the environment in which China’s central government unilaterally and willingly exercise police and security powers in semi-autonomous cities.
Previous U.S. advice urged citizens to pay attention to travel to Hong Kong, but new security laws were imposed on Hong Kong and a wave of foreign arrests modified U.S. thinking.
According to new British advice, Chinese authorities have detained foreigners who in certain circumstances threaten national security.
There is also the risk of arbitrary detention, including British citizens. Britain’s advice previously had no mention of the dangers of arbitrary detention.
The Commonwealth Development Authority said the UK is not raising the level of travel alerts, but the change in advice reflects the realities of the site, including recent events.
Several foreigners have been detained in China for state security charges in recent months, including Canadians, Australians, Japanese and at least one American.
In one of the recent incidents, Cheng Lei, an Australian citizen and Chinese state TV anchor, was detained in August, described by Chinese officials as a basis for national security.
Citing out-of-territorial application of Hong Kong law, a new advisory to the US State Department warned that the new law could target publicly critical US citizens. [Peoples Republic of China] The risk of arrest, detention, expulsion or prosecution increases.
Under the law, suspects may be taken to the mainland in some cases. The mainland government has also set up offices in the city to oversee the enforcement of local government laws.
The State Department has also repeated warnings that China is leading a propaganda campaign in Hong Kong that falsely accuses US citizens who promote insecurity.
New U.S. recommendations tell U.S. citizens that China imposes discretionary detention and eviction bans to force investigational cooperation, pressure family members to return to China from abroad, influence civil disputes, and gain bargaining influence over foreign governments. Warned.
U.S. citizens traveling or residing in China or Hong Kong may be detained without U.S. consular services or information on criminal charges.
At the same time, the United States has eased advice on the health risks of traveling to China due to advances in coronavirus treatment.
Overall, the new recommendations will be of little help in alleviating tensions between the West and China, and came after a Hong Kong watch pressure group opposed the arrest and detention of 12 asylum seekers in China on ships heading to Thailand.
On August 27, 2020, Chinese authorities arrested 12 Hong Kong democratic activists after intercepting a ship heading for Taiwan in the South China Sea.
The activists in question were heading for Taiwan from Hong Kong to apply for political asylum after being prosecuted under the National Security Law.
Hong Kong Watch said: Instead of returning individuals for trial in Hong Kong, Chinese authorities have detained activists for more than two weeks in the mainland city of Shenzhen in China, and have confided access to legal representatives organized by their families. Refused.
Legal representation is a clear principle of international and Chinese law. We urge the Chinese government to have due process in this case and that all persons detained are treated with humane and dignity.
Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lamb said they were wanted for anti-government crimes and should not be mistaken for democracy activists.
At the meeting, the EU requested that President Shi free three foreigners (Swedish citizen Gu Min Hai) and two Canadians, former diplomat Michael Kovrig, and entrepreneur Michael Spavor. The arrest in December 2018 was considered retaliation for detention in Canada. Huawei Chief Executive Officer Meng Wanzhou.
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