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- The Chinese foreign ministry issued a travel advisory for Canada, warning Chinese citizens to “fully evaluate risks” before traveling.
- The new advisory states that there is a risk of “arbitrary detention” at the request of a “third-party country.”
- The warning is the latest in an escalating feud that began with the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Canada in early December at the request of the US for sanctions violations.
Beijing issued a travel advisory Tuesday for Canada, warning Chinese citizens that they risk “arbitrary detention” at the request of a “third-party country” if they go there.
The foreign ministry urged Chinese citizens to exercise caution and “fully evaluate risks,” Reuters reported Tuesday morning.
This sudden move appears to be the latest in an escalating situation over the December arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who was detained in Canada at the request of the United States for alleged sanctions violations.
Meng was released on bail faces extradition to the US.
In response to the initial arrest, China began detaining Canadian nationals in China. In the midst of the fallout from the questionable detention of Canadian citizens, the US Department of State issued a travel advisory for China, warning that US citizens who travel to China may not be able to return home.
“Exercise increased caution in China due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws,” the advisory states. “Chinese authorities have asserted broad authority to prohibit U.S. citizens from leaving China by using ‘exit bans,’ sometimes keeping U.S. citizens in China for years. China uses exit bans coercively.”
The advisory explains that US citizens may not have access to consular services, could be subjected to prolonged interrogations, and held in extended detention.
China recently retried a drug smuggling case against Canadian national Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, who was arrested in 2014 and sentenced in November to 15 years in prison. The court decided the sentence was too lenient and instead sentenced him to death.
“It is of extreme concern to us as a government, as it should be to all our international friends and allies, that China has chosen to arbitrarily apply the death penalty,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in response.
Canada, in response, issued a travel advisory for China.
“Exercise a high degree of caution in China due to the risk of arbitrary enforcement of local laws,” the Canadian government explained.