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    HomeWorldWhy It's Becoming More Difficult for Chinese and Foreign Nationals to Exit...

    Why It’s Becoming More Difficult for Chinese and Foreign Nationals to Exit China

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    China is increasingly placing exit bans on people, including foreign executives, preventing them from leaving the country. This is happening despite China’s message that the country is open for business after three years of COVID-19 restrictions. A new report by rights group Safeguard Defenders shows that scores of Chinese and foreigners have been ensnared by exit bans. Foreign business groups have raised concerns about this trend. The group estimates that tens of thousands of Chinese are banned from exit at any one time. The number of court cases involving exit bans has increased in recent years, according to a Reuters analysis.

    Between 2018 and July 2022, no less than five new or amended Chinese laws have been introduced to provide for the use of exit bans. This brings the total number of laws providing for exit bans to 15. Attention on exit bans comes as tensions rise between China and the US over trade and security disputes. By contrast, the US and European Union impose travel bans on some criminal suspects but generally not for civil claims.

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    China’s Ministry of Public Security did not respond to Reuters requests for comment on exit bans, including inquiries on how many individuals, including foreigners, are subject to them. Foreign businesses are concerned about the heightened scrutiny and vague wording of China’s counter-espionage legislation, which says exit bans can be imposed on those who cause “harm to the national security or significant damage to national interests”.

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