State Dept. Warns Americans Overseas

The State Department is warning Americans to use “increased caution” in China over what it says is an increased risk of “prolonged interrogations and extended detention” amid increased tensions between Beijing and Washington.

The security alert, sent to citizens in China and obtained by Reuters, warns that “U.S. citizens may be detained without access to U.S. consular services or information about their alleged crime.”

“Security personnel may detain and/or deport U.S. citizens for sending private electronic messages critical of the Chinese government,” the alert said, warning also that Americans could face “prolonged interrogations and extended detention.”

It did not say what prompted the alert. However, it comes amid a deteriorating relationship between the U.S. and China, particularly after the spread of the coronavirus — which originated in Wuhan — and its recent incursions on freedoms in Hong Kong with the passage of its national security law.

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