Local Laws and Customs
1.Police have the power to arrest, detain or withhold your passport if you are suspected of a crime. Suspects may be detained for weeks or months before charges are laid or given a travel ban preventing them from leaving China. Courts don’t generally grant bail to foreigners. Travel bans can also be imposed on people involved in private or commercial disputes.
2.There is a list of English-speaking lawyers on the Embassy’s website. Some lawyers may be reluctant to accept cases involving foreigners. Contact the British Embassy or Consulate if you experience such difficulties.
3.The Chinese authorities undertake random drug testing on foreign nationals including on entry to the country. If a foreign national tests positive, the Chinese authorities can prosecute regardless of where or when the drugs had been consumed.
4.China doesn’t recognise dual nationality, any person born in China to a Chinese national parent will be considered by the Chinese authorities to have Chinese nationality.
5.Foreign nationals over 16 years of age must carry their passport with them at all times. Police carry out random checks, especially during periods of heightened security and major sporting or political events. Failure to produce your ID can lead to a fine or detention. If you renew your passport while you’re in China, you must register your new passport with the authorities promptly or face a fine.
6.The Chinese authorities maintain controls on internet access. Websites like Facebook, Youtube and Twitter are blocked. Other websites or e-mail services (especially Google and Gmail) are blocked from time to time.
7.Gambling is illegal in mainland China.
8.Homosexuality is not illegal although there are no specific laws in place to protect the rights of LGBT people.
9.China has its own laws and regulations on endangered wildlife trade and transportation, and is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and Flora (CITES). Anyone who intends to move wildlife products into or out of China must check with the relevant Chinese authorities or a lawyer first. Carrying, transporting, posting endangered wildlife and its products including ivory without permission could violate CITES or relevant Chinese laws and result in a fine, confiscation of property, detention and/or imprisonment.
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