New DFAT travel warning for Australians going to China
The Morrison government has updated its travel advice for China, warning Australians may be at risk of “arbitrary detention” if they travel to the Asian nation amid a deterioration in bilateral ties.
It follows the arrest this week of Xu Zhangrun — a prominent critic of President Xi Jinping with close ties to Australia — after the academic published an essay accusing the Chinese Communist party of “ruling tyrannically” and failing in its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a fresh update to the Smart Traveller website on Tuesday, DFAT added further detail to its existing warning against overseas travel, declaring Australians should not travel to China as Beijing has detained foreigners for allegedly “endangering national security”.
“If you’re already in China, and wish to return to Australia, we recommend you do so as soon as possible by commercial means,” the advice now reads. “Authorities have detained foreigners because they’re ‘endangering national security’.
“Australians may also be at risk of arbitrary detention.”
A coronavirus-related travel ban is already in place for Australians wanting to go overseas.