Chinese Man Twice Blocked From Exiting China as Border Controls are Tightened

This year, Chinese immigration authorities twice prevented a Chinese businessman from leaving the country, even though he had valid travel documents.Mr. Zhao (an alias for safety) from China’s eastern Shandong Province was not allowed to exit China in January nor in May. Zhao is just one of many people prevented from exiting China. As the Chinese regime tightens entry and exit in the name of preventing pandemic infection from abroad, many Chinese netizens have posted their experiences of being forbidden from leaving the country on Chinese social media platforms. One netizen with the username Duruitang commented that “China is already closing its door,” as the BBC Chinese News reported last month. Zhao was a frequent international traveler before the pandemic, but now he cannot go on overseas trips via either a travel or business visa. Rejected for ‘Non-Essential’ Travel Zhao obtained a Pakistani business visa at the end of last month and purchased a plane ticket to Pakistan. But Chinese immigration personnel stopped him at Chengdu Airport. “The border guards intercepted me and said my purpose for going overseas is ‘not pure,’” Zhao told the Chinese language edition of The Epoch Times on June 6. He was told that he could not go on his trip to Pakistan because his reason for leaving China was “non-essential,” according to Zhao. In a statement dated May 12, China’s National Immigration Administration announced that the regime will implement restrictions on border entry and exit, including restricting “non-essential activities” of Chinese citizens and reducing the issuance of passports and travel permits. Business is regarded as one of the “essential activities” according to a notice on the immigration administration’s website. The Epoch Times reached out to the China Immigration Service Hotline and the immigration officer on the call explained that resuming work, study, business, and scientific research, as well as seeking medical care are considered “essential activities.” She did not explain why a Chinese citizen with a business visa to Pakistan was refused exit from China. Zhao said that he saw many other passengers at the airport who were not allowed to leave China, including travelers to Russia and Dubai. He experienced an earlier refusal of exit in January at the airport in Guangzhou, although he had a valid travel visa issued by the Thai embassy to China and other supporting travel documents. “It’s a waste of money to plan overseas trips, and it’s a very tiring experience both physically and mentally,” Zhao said. He said he could not get refunds from the airline and hotel bookings or other expenses for the trips. He blasted the regime’s zero-COVID policy for being “unrealistic.” “If the pandemic continues into next year and the year after, then it will still be impossible for Chinese people to get out of China,” he said. “I feel very unhappy living in China. I want to go to other countries, but [the Chinese government] doesn’t allow me to go. We Chinese do not have any chance to speak up,” said Zhao. Immigration agencies have seen an enormous spike in emigration inquiries in recent weeks, with clients looking to apply for overseas passports or green cards; but China’s central Hunan Province has ordered residents to hand their passports to the police, and the order will be rolled out nationwide, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA). Border police in Guangzhou have reportedly confiscated or clipped passports of Chinese citizens, according to an RFA report in May. The Chinese border control police usually clip a corner of a passport to invalidate it. The Epoch Times is unable to verify the authenticity of the border agency’s activities. Luo Ya contributed to this article. Follow Sophia Lam joined The Epoch Times in 2021 and she covers China-related topics.

Chinese Man Twice Blocked From Exiting China as Border Controls are Tightened

This year, Chinese immigration authorities twice prevented a Chinese businessman from leaving the country, even though he had valid travel documents.

Mr. Zhao (an alias for safety) from China’s eastern Shandong Province was not allowed to exit China in January nor in May.

Zhao is just one of many people prevented from exiting China.

As the Chinese regime tightens entry and exit in the name of preventing pandemic infection from abroad, many Chinese netizens have posted their experiences of being forbidden from leaving the country on Chinese social media platforms. One netizen with the username Duruitang commented that “China is already closing its door,” as the BBC Chinese News reported last month.

Zhao was a frequent international traveler before the pandemic, but now he cannot go on overseas trips via either a travel or business visa.

Rejected for ‘Non-Essential’ Travel

Zhao obtained a Pakistani business visa at the end of last month and purchased a plane ticket to Pakistan. But Chinese immigration personnel stopped him at Chengdu Airport.

“The border guards intercepted me and said my purpose for going overseas is ‘not pure,’” Zhao told the Chinese language edition of The Epoch Times on June 6. He was told that he could not go on his trip to Pakistan because his reason for leaving China was “non-essential,” according to Zhao.

In a statement dated May 12, China’s National Immigration Administration announced that the regime will implement restrictions on border entry and exit, including restricting “non-essential activities” of Chinese citizens and reducing the issuance of passports and travel permits. Business is regarded as one of the “essential activities” according to a notice on the immigration administration’s website.

The Epoch Times reached out to the China Immigration Service Hotline and the immigration officer on the call explained that resuming work, study, business, and scientific research, as well as seeking medical care are considered “essential activities.” She did not explain why a Chinese citizen with a business visa to Pakistan was refused exit from China.

Zhao said that he saw many other passengers at the airport who were not allowed to leave China, including travelers to Russia and Dubai.

He experienced an earlier refusal of exit in January at the airport in Guangzhou, although he had a valid travel visa issued by the Thai embassy to China and other supporting travel documents.

“It’s a waste of money to plan overseas trips, and it’s a very tiring experience both physically and mentally,” Zhao said. He said he could not get refunds from the airline and hotel bookings or other expenses for the trips.

He blasted the regime’s zero-COVID policy for being “unrealistic.”

“If the pandemic continues into next year and the year after, then it will still be impossible for Chinese people to get out of China,” he said.

“I feel very unhappy living in China. I want to go to other countries, but [the Chinese government] doesn’t allow me to go. We Chinese do not have any chance to speak up,” said Zhao.

Immigration agencies have seen an enormous spike in emigration inquiries in recent weeks, with clients looking to apply for overseas passports or green cards; but China’s central Hunan Province has ordered residents to hand their passports to the police, and the order will be rolled out nationwide, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA).

Border police in Guangzhou have reportedly confiscated or clipped passports of Chinese citizens, according to an RFA report in May.

The Chinese border control police usually clip a corner of a passport to invalidate it.

The Epoch Times is unable to verify the authenticity of the border agency’s activities.

Luo Ya contributed to this article.


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Sophia Lam joined The Epoch Times in 2021 and she covers China-related topics.