Did Who Oppose China Travel Ban

China’s travel ban belied the world’s understanding of the dynamics associated with privacy, security, and surveillance, as well as our expectations of what constitutes acceptable conduct by states. Despite its overall unpopularity and various attempts made by numerous countries and organisations to oppose this unilateral decision, the response to the ban was met with widespread resistance – both domestically and internationally – as well as condemnation from experts in the field of travel and international law.

The United Nations declared the travel ban as “a violation of international law”. Meanwhile, members of the European Union voiced their disapproval by openly condemning China’s decision and taking action, such as laying out a new privacy and security framework for foreign citizens travelling to and from the EU. In the wake of the court ruling, international organisations such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation and the International Air Transport Association expressed concern over the implications of the banned, citing potential damage to the industry.

In the US, a joint statement issued by the US State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice in 2019 declared that the Travel Ban should be seen as an “affront to the most fundamental principles of American values”. The statement outlined that the executive order to restrict the rights of foreign citizens travelling to, from, and within the US not only violated international law, but also impinged on the rights of the US, and violated basic human rights principles.

The spotlight fell on domestic courts, as protesters took to the streets. Various US-based organisations filed lawsuits against the federal government, arguing that the travel ban affected their rights in a direct and tangible manner. These groups included US citizens who feared increased surveillance and profiling by the government, non-governmental organisations challenging the ban on behalf of immigrant workers, and employers of foreign workers who feared reduced access to qualified foreign employees.

Indeed, the Supreme Court ruled that the Travel Ban was unconstitutional – thereby declaring it void and unenforceable. The Supreme Court specified that in the absence of a “compelling governmental interest” in the policy, the executive order would violate the guarantees of equal protection under the law and the freedom of travel found in the Constitution.

The most vocal opponents to the Travel Ban have been those from the travel industry, who have argued that the travel ban could cause long-term economic damage. In an open letter addressed to the US government, international travel agency organizations, associations, and companies called on the government to “act in line with its founding principles and uphold the ‘unalienable rights’ of freedom of movement.”They argued that the private sector should be allowed to innovate and facilitate new solutions to minimise the impact of the ban.

In addition to the legal and economic impacts of the Travel Ban, its moral implications have been widely criticised. One prominent argument is that the ban discriminates against people based on their nationality and ethnicity, contrary to basic American values. Moreover, the lack of transparency and accountability on the part of the government has also been criticised, with many arguing that such acts undermine the rule of law and democratic values.

Effects On US-China Relations

The Travel Ban undoubtedly had an effect on the US-China relations. On the US end, the Trump administration has adopted a hard-line stance towards the country, citing security concerns and economic interests. Tensions between the two countries have risen steadily since the Travel Ban took effect. In several recent cases, the US has taken an uncompromising approach to trade, technology, and human rights issues with China, leading to further deterioration of US-China relations.

On the Chinese side, the travel ban has been heavily criticised as a political move rather than a security measure. As a result, Chinese citizens have become increasingly wary of travelling to the US. Moreover, the ban has also hindered the efforts of Chinese businesses looking to invest in the US, as Chinese firms face increased regulatory hurdles when trying to do business in the US.

The US-China relations have also been affected by the Travel Ban in other ways. The Chinese government has taken a tougher stance against US citizens travelling to China, tightening visa regulations and increasing surveillance. Nevertheless, US citizens remain permitted to visit China, although it has become increasingly difficult for them to do so.


The impact of the travel ban is still being felt today – both domestically and internationally. There is a general consensus that the ban had far-reaching implications, both economically and politically, for the US and its allies. The US’ unilateral decision to impose the ban without merely adhering to international norms is still seen as a violation of human rights. Moreover, for those opposed to the ban, there remains a deep-rooted concern that the US has disregarded the values of freedom of movement and cross-cultural exchanges in favour of unchecked power and control.

Global Response

Internationally, the Travel Ban has prompted a strong response. Various countries have taken a stance against the ban, either through the implementation of travel restrictions of their own or by publicly expressing concern. Other countries, such as South Korea, have taken a more neutral stance, opting to monitor the situation and avoid being drawn into the argument.

International organisations have also joined the chorus of criticism. The United Nations has condemned the ban as a violation of international law. Furthermore, the European Union responded by introducing a new privacy and security framework for foreign citizens travelling in and out of the EU. Other organisations such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation and the International Air Transport Association have expressed their concern regarding the implications of the ban, particularly with regards to the impact it would have on the travel industry.

Although the Travel Ban remains in place, it has been criticised from a variety of perspectives. Facing mounting pressure from the international community, it is yet to be seen if the ban will be amended or overturned.

Economic Impact

The most visible economic impact of the Travel Ban is felt in the travel and hospitality sectors, both domestic and international. The ban has had a tangible effect on tourism in the US, as travel from China has drop substantially. Furthermore, the ban has also had an effect on US-based businesses, as Chinese investors face increased regulatory barriers when trying to do business in the US.

The ban has also had an effect on businesses relying on foreign talent. For companies using foreign workers to staff their operations, the Travel Ban has caused severe disruption, as potential employees face increasing obstacles when trying to enter the US. Businesses such as tech startups have expressed their concern that the ban will stifle innovation and limit access to talented personnel, and they have advocated for better access to the US labour market for foreign citizens.

In spite of this, the economic impact of the Travel Ban is still in its early stages. In the long term, the impact of the ban may become clearer, as the US and the global community continue to grapple with the implications of the policy.

Political Implications

The Travel Ban has had a significant effect on US-China relations, the most visible manifestation of which has been an increase in tension between the two countries. In addition to the immediate effect of the ban, it has provoked a shift in US foreign policy towards China, as the US has adopted an uncompromising stance on anything related to its international relations with the country, focusing particularly on security and economic issues.

The ban has also been criticised from a moral perspective – many have argued that it violates American values by imposing restrictions on people based on their nationality. Moreover, this lack of transparency has raised questions about whether the US government can be held accountable for its actions and policies. This has further eroded trust in the government among those opposed to the Travel Ban.

Finally, the ban has also triggered a sharp response from the international community. Countries, organisations, and individuals have reacted to the ban, either by opposing it or by implementing restrictions of their own. This global response serves to underscore how deeply entrenched our expectations and principles on travel are, and demonstrates that unilateral decisions by one state should not be tolerated, particularly when they are in breach of international norms.

Bernice Sorrells

Bernice A. Sorrells is a freelance journalist and travel writer from the United States. She has written extensively about China, covering topics such as culture, history, politics, and economics. Bernice has traveled extensively throughout China, visiting many of its provinces and cities.

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