The US is warning Americans about the dangers of traveling to China. Here's what to know before you visit the country.

Air China Boeing jetAP

  • On Thursday, the US State Department issued a new travel advisory urging Americans to "exercise increased caution" when traveling to the People's Republic of China.
  • China may issue exit or travel bans in instances where there are business disputes or legal issues.
  • However, people not directly connected with or even aware of the dispute may still be subject to the ban.
  • Thursday's advisory is based on concerns that the Chinese government may arbitrarily enforce local law and prevent US citizens from leaving the country.
  • The advisory does not suggest people avoid traveling to China but does urge travelers to take increased caution.
  • Here's what you need to know if you're going to China.

On Thursday, the US State Department issued a new travel advisory urging Americans to "exercise increased caution" when traveling to the People's Republic of China.

According to the State Department, China may issue exit or travel bans in instances where there are business disputes and court orders to pay a settlement. Unfortunately, individuals and family members not directly involved with or even aware of the dispute can still be subject to a ban, the agency explained.

Thursday's advisory is based on concerns that the Chinese government may arbitrarily enforce local law and prevent US citizens from leaving the country.

Chinese authorities have asserted broad authority to prohibit US citizens from leaving China by using 'exit bans,' sometimes keeping US citizens in China for years," the State Department said in its advisory.

Read more: The US government is warning Americans that if they visit China they may not be able to return home.

The level-two advisory doesn't dissuade Americans from going to China. In fact, countries such as France, Germany, and the United Kingdom all boast level-two travel advisories.

In addition, millions of Americans visit China every year without incident. So here's what you need to know before going to China, according to the US State Department.

  • Make sure your US passport has a valid Chinese visa and keep it with you.
  • Ask officials to notify the US embassy in Beijing or the nearest consulate immediately if you're arrested or detained.
  • Stay away from North Korea.
  • Join the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program which is a free service offered to US citizens traveling abroad that alerts the local embassy or consulate of your presence in the country.
  • Follow the State Department's alerts on social media
  • Review the Bureau of Diplomatic Security's crime and safety reports.
  • Have a contingency plan in place if an emergency does occur while traveling.

The US Embassy in China is located at No. 55 An Jia Lou Rd, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100600, China. Its phone number is 86-10-8531-400. Its email is BeijingACS@state.gov. There are local US consulates in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang, and Wuhan,

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