Australians May Face ‘Arbitrary Detention’ in China, Government Advises Against Travel

July 7, 2020 Updated: July 7, 2020

The Australian federal government’s travel advisory site, SmartTraveller, has updated it’s travel advice on July 7, telling Aussies not to travel to China or they may face “arbitrary detention.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s advisory site stated that authorities in the communist nation have detained foreigners for allegedly “endangering national security.”

China’s strict national security laws can be interpreted broadly. This means that a traveller could break the law without realising it, the site warned.

The government advised Australians to research local laws in China as they are much harsher than they are in Australia.

Some of the existing government advice warns Australians that the Chinese regime strictly controls demonstrations and tells travellers to avoid them.

“Don’t photograph or video protests,” the advice reads.

Travellers were also advised to note that the Australian government can’t intervene in the Chinese regime’s justice process.

“We also can’t help if you’re a dual national and you don’t travel on your Australian passport,” the advice reads.

According to the government travel advisory, China has suspended all visas on arrival, including transit visas. Travellers who are transiting onto international flights should double-check whether their transit visa is still valid.

Foreign Minister Says the ‘Eyes of the World’ Remain on Hong Kong

On July 1, the foreign affairs minister, Senator Marise Payne, issued a statement expressing Australia’s concern for the “judicial process and the rights and freedoms enjoyed by the people of Hong Kong” after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) legislated a new National Security Law.

Senator Payne noted with concern that Beijing imposed the law without the direct participation of Hong Kong’s people, legislature, or the judiciary.

The people of Hong Kong have protested for a number of years against the CCP’s encroaching power over the city.

The CCP’s new National Security Law undermines the “One Party Two Systems framework and the city’s high degree of autonomy guaranteed in the legally binding Sino-British Joint Declaration and Hong Kong’s Basic Law.”

“Australia has a substantial stake in Hong Kong’s success. The city is home to our largest commercial presence in Asia and one of our biggest expatriate communities globally,” the foreign affairs minister said in a statement.

Payne said: “The eyes of the world will remain on Hong Kong.”

Follow Caden on Twitter: @cadenpearson