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Britain warns it citizens of risk of arbitrary detention in China

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Britain warns it citizens of risk of arbitrary detention in China

 

2020-09-15T085257Z_1_LYNXMPEG8E0KO_RTROPTP_4_CHINA-BRITAIN.JPG

FILE PHOTO: A Union flag and a Chinese flag on a pole with security cameras in front of a portrait of late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong at the Tiananmen gate, during a visit to China by the then British prime minister, Theresa May, in Beijing, January 31, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

 

BEIJING (Reuters) - Britain has issued new a travel advisory for China, warning that its nationals may be at risk of arbitrary detention, after several foreigners were held on various charges including cases involving state secrets and national security.

 

"China's authorities have under certain circumstances detained foreigners citing 'endangering national security'," the British Foreign Office said in its latest advice posted on its website.

"There is also a risk of arbitrary detention, including of British Nationals," it said.

 

British advice previously contained no reference to the risk of arbitrary detention.

 

A spokesman for the British embassy in Beijing said the advice had been updated to "clearly and factually reflect recent incidents".

 

"But the level of our advice has not changed," the spokesman said.

 

The British warning comes after several foreigners were detained in China on national security charges, including Canadians, Australians, Japanese and at least one American. Some of them remain in detention.

 

In one of the latest high-profile cases, Cheng Lei, an Australian citizen and anchor on Chinese state television, was detained in August for "carrying out criminal activities endangering China's national security," according to China's foreign ministry.

 

Her detention follows a period of strained relations between China and Australia.

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-09-15
 
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4 minutes ago, Rookiescot said:

They wouldn't dare. Dont they know we are British?

 

This thread is about the British Government warning its citizens in China , the Chines authorities would arrest anyone they thought was worthy of arresting , regardless of nationality 

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"China's authorities have under certain circumstances detained foreigners citing 'endangering national security'," 

 

How long before China's Asian neighbors adopt the Chinese model of detaining foreigners "citing national security "?

 

Countries have been known to began this form of activity as a precursor to military mischief and war.

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China is holding several Canadians hostage.

It tried similar with an Australian.

The only two countries China won't threaten are Russia and the USA.

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5 hours ago, Rookiescot said:

They wouldn't dare. Dont they know we are British?

Anyway China needs a trade deal with us and we will not play nice if they annoy us. 😏

They need more trade with Australia I guess.

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I left China in Dec 2019, with 6 hour overstay, on a 6m visa (UK passport) because my original flight had been shifted, I'd missed my connecting flight and the flight I'd rebooked had been delayed. Passport control questioned me for at least half an hour, asking for documentation of all the above, before letting me go.

 

Until pretty recently, overstays of less than 24 hours were just waved through; overstay a few days and you'd get a minor. So there was already a clear change even then: Chinese officialdom is dishing out maximum punishments to foreigners for minor infringements.

 

My American neighbour on one of those flights confirmed this impression: a colleague of his had recently miscalculated his dates - easily done because only entry dates are stamped, and the official basis for calculation is not well-publicised - and overstayed by one day. When attempting to exit he was given a choice between a five year blacklisting, or applying for an emergency visa extension at his local immigration office, and rebooking his flight out. He apparently chose the latter at significant expense.

Edited by onebir
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13 hours ago, Chomper Higgot said:

Britain is suddenly concerned China might disregard longstanding legal norms.

 

Your usual anti British sneer and sarcasm. And where is the bold brave HR champion the EU? Floundering around as usual.

 

Given the treatment of Australians and Canadians, any sensible government should be concerned about this growing Chinese tendency and warn it's citizens.

 

 

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On 9/16/2020 at 4:36 AM, onebir said:

I left China in Dec 2019, with 6 hour overstay, on a 6m visa (UK passport) because my original flight had been shifted, I'd missed my connecting flight and the flight I'd rebooked had been delayed. Passport control questioned me for at least half an hour, asking for documentation of all the above, before letting me go.

 

Until pretty recently, overstays of less than 24 hours were just waved through; overstay a few days and you'd get a minor. So there was already a clear change even then: Chinese officialdom is dishing out maximum punishments to foreigners for minor infringements.

 

My American neighbour on one of those flights confirmed this impression: a colleague of his had recently miscalculated his dates - easily done because only entry dates are stamped, and the official basis for calculation is not well-publicised - and overstayed by one day. When attempting to exit he was given a choice between a five year blacklisting, or applying for an emergency visa extension at his local immigration office, and rebooking his flight out. He apparently chose the latter at significant expense.

China immi are simply a part of the authoritarian and secretive regime when it comes to visa runs and overstay, ie, the date they stamp is not the date. The date China immi stamps is your one day overstay. Every expat gets this so it's an equal opportunity screw job. 

 

In Thailand and later in China I never had to concern myself with it because the employer whomever it was took care of everything. In the Former Land of Smiles and in China the employer loaded those of us whose turn it was to get a new one year visa into a van, took us to immi and we got processed. Yet while being processed in China we always saw a bunch of expats being screwed for a one day overstay. 

 

In China they cancelled your Visa for the one day overstay, made you go to your local Public Security Bureau Police to get a 30 day visa for 1000 RMB/Yuan and exit the country. This applied to everyone even though while I was in China three passports were considered golden, the UK, USA, Australia. Even Russia was not favored anywhere near these three and still isn't given the characters who appear on foreign shores from Russia. Yet still today -- and presently especially -- Americans who overstay by even one day get busted out of China; same for Aussies and Brits.

 

The small comfort if there might be one is that you left China with a valid visa rather than being denied on your application for one, so you were able to return without having to try to explain away being denied a visa on your applying for it. The worst expats treated for overstay are Africans who are made to beg and argue for even the 30 day punishment visa. 

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On 9/16/2020 at 1:09 AM, geriatrickid said:

China is holding several Canadians hostage.

It tried similar with an Australian.

The only two countries China won't threaten are Russia and the USA.

True yet I'm back in China again and Americans are getting hassled in what are normally routine matters that never get attention. 

 

I get stopped to produce my Residence Permit papers which hadn't ever happened until this year. Americans in China I know are getting the same thing. 

 

Americans suddenly this year have to pay for a Visa extension when no one ever had to pay to get a Visa stamp for whatever number of dayze, whether it be 30 dayze, 60, 90. 

 

And in having suddenly to pay for visa extension, Americans are paying 1000 RMB/Yuan for the dayze while others suddenly have to pay RMB/Yuan 150 or 200 in comparison. 

 

I used to be able to go to Hong Kong routinely for the visa extension stamp to turn around and reenter the mainland for that stamp, no charge, which was the case for every foreign devil. Since Covid19 however HKG will quarantine you if they think you're viral, and an American from the mainland is target number one.

 

I haven't returned to the USA this year for even a short stay because it definitely would brand me to be isolated on my return to China and my business consultancy. Already a Chines medical doctor refused to authorize my blood pressure meds because she said I could not prove I had not been in USA this year despite my showing her my passport stamps and all. The doctor demanded I prove it so I showed her my passport and she simply said NO. She's one of the few MDs in China who know English btw.

 

So while no foreign devil goes to HKG anymore for visa extension, Americans absolutely don't go. We have to go to the local Public Security Bureau Flatfoot Police who are the guys who follow people around on suspicion. This is in contrast btw to the Public Safety Bureau Flatfoot cops who chase a thief running out of a shop with a fistful of cash...they don't chase him far before they give it up btw.  

 

It takes the Security Bureau Flatfoot Cops several dayze to process your extension as opposed to taking a couple of hours for you to process out of the mainland into HKG, turn around and process out of HKG back onto the mainland with stamps in your passport, and no fee involved. 

 

I'm well known and accepted in the neighborhood where I live and work yet even the residence building private security guards want to see my Residence Permit papers now whereas they never asked previously. It's normal for Security Police to canvass the residence building -- each building in China -- to know who lives there and, for a foreign devil such as myself, to show passport with proper visa, confirmation of employment, name of employer; and to say why you decided to come to China in the first place. The Flatfoots are businesslike about it yet what I want to tell 'em is that I came to China for the globally recognized Wuhan bat fried rice.   

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