The United States warned American citizens on Saturday to exercise increased caution in China due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws including detention and the use of exit bans.
US State Department, in a security alert issued to its citizens in China, said that US citizens may be detained without access to US consular services or information about their alleged crime.
"U.S. citizens may be subjected to prolonged interrogations and extended detention for reasons related to 'state security.' Security personnel may detain and/or deport U.S. citizens for sending private electronic messages critical of the PRC (the People Republic of China) government," the statement read.
"If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the US Embassy or the nearest consulate immediately. See the contact information for the Embassy and Consulates below for further information," it added.
The security alert comes a day after China has said that it will impose reciprocal measures in response to US sanctions on Chinese officials over alleged human rights abuses against the Uighur Muslim minority.
"If the United States insists on acting arrogantly, China will definitely fight back," Al Jazeera quoted Zhao as saying. "We urge the US to correct this wrong decision. If the US continues to proceed, China will take firm countermeasures."
The security alert also follows heightened tensions between US and China on a range of issue including coronavirus pandemic, Hong Kong security law, trade and allegations of human rights violation against Uighurs in the Xinjiang region. (ANI)