One day after the Chinese Ministry of Education warned students about the “risks” of studying in the US, and recommended they exercise caution due to ‘visa delays and restrictions’ brought about by the Trump Administration, Beijing has taken its warnings a step further, issuing an official travel advisory highlighting the risks of traveling in the US.
China’s foreign ministry and its embassy cautioned travelers to raise their safety awareness and respond “actively and appropriately” to “harassment” in the form of immigration checks and home interviews, according to the South China Morning Post.
That message was paired with an advisory by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism released on Tuesday afternoon urging Chinese tourists to exercise caution because of the risks of ‘robbery and theft’ (which sounds like China is using President Trump’s own warnings against him).
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said Tuesday that Chinese nationals were encountering difficulties in the US, and that this is why China announced a travel warning for Chinese going to the US.
“Chinese tourists in the US should fully assess the risks of traveling to the US, keeping up to date with information about public security, laws and regulations, and conscientiously improve awareness to ensure safety,” it said.
Issuing travel advisories is nothing new for Beijing: In response to a travel advisory from Ottawa earlier this year warning Canadian citizens about the risks of ‘arbitrary detention’ in China, the foreign ministry issued a similar warning to Chinese traveling abroad in Canada, just weeks after the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou.
The irony of the travel advisory was apparently lost on Beijing, as the warning coincided with the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre – or the “June 4th incident”, as its known in China.
Vice President Mike Pence is expected to make a speech to commemorate the anniversary on Tuesday, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Beijing to “make a full public accounting of those killed or missing” after the 1989 massacre. Geng slammed Pompeo and EU Foreign Affairs Representative Federica Mogherini for interfering in China’s international affairs.
Pompeo’s statement “maliciously attacks China’s political freedom and denigrates China’s human rights” and “severely interferes in domestic affairs,” Geng said. It also damaged trust with the US.
American attempts to undermine China’s stability were “doomed to fail” and “the deranged babbling of these people will only end up in the trash can of history.”
Geng concluded by saying that the “tremendous progress” achieved by China in the years since the massacre showed that the “path China has chosen is completely right.”