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U.S. Dept. of State statement on U.S. citizens and residents in China, 2001

Public Announcement about U.S. - China Relations
April 19, 2001


U.S. - China Relations

Office of the Spokesman

CHINA April 19, 2001

The Ministry of State Security (MSS) of the People's Republic of China has recently taken into custody several American citizens and U.S. permanent residents of Chinese origin. Of these, at least two Americans are now being detained by the Chinese authorities under suspicion of espionage or damaging China's national security, even though the Chinese Government has not offered any evidence to substantiate these allegations. Others have been questioned for up to four days and then released.

The Department of State cautions Americans, especially Americans originally from China, that there may be a risk of being detained upon returning to China, if they have at any time engaged in activities or published writings critical of Chinese government policies. In some cases, travel to Taiwan or involvement with Taiwan media organizations has apparently also been regarded as the equivalent of espionage by MSS. Therefore, persons with a history of such activities or writings should carefully evaluate this information in deciding whether to travel to China.

It should be noted as well that the Americans recently detained by MSS had previously visited China without incident, but were nonetheless detained during their most recent visits. At least two of the Americans were identified by MSS as persons of interest, even though they had changed their names in the U.S. upon naturalization or marriage.

U.S. citizens planning to visit or reside in China are advised to consult the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet (CIS) for the People's Republic of China. The CIS provides the addresses, telephone numbers, and fax numbers for the U.S. Embassy and Consulates General along with other important information for Americans living or traveling in China. It is available at any U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad and through the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet home page at

This Public Announcement does not apply to the Hong Kong or Macau Special Administrative Regions, or to Taiwan.

This Public Announcement expires December 27, 2001.

*****Department of State travel information and publications are available at Internet address: U.S. travelers may hear recorded information by calling the Department of State in Washington, D.C. at 202-647-5225 from their touchtone telephone, or receive information by automated telefax by dialing 202-647-3000 from their fax machine.