Press Releases

Washington, D.C. U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ed Markey (D-MA) reintroduced legislation to enhance accountability for Chinese officials involved in coercively banning American citizens from leaving China. This “exit ban” policy violates international human rights norms and has been used to keep American citizens in China for years. Estimates suggest that at least two dozen U.S. citizens have been barred from leaving China over the past three years. U.S. citizens trapped in China are often harassed and threatened by authorities, according to the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisory for China. 

 “It is immoral and unjust that Beijing continues to use so-called ‘exit bans’ to prevent American citizens from leaving the PRC,” Rubio said. “We must ensure Americans can return home safely when they travel abroad. I am proud to once again join my colleagues in reintroducing this important bipartisan bill, which will ensure accountability from those individuals involved in violating the rights of American citizens.” 

“The Chinese government’s use of ‘exit bans’ is a gross violation of international human rights norms,” Markey said. “Cynthia and Victor Liu, and their mother, Sandra Han, three of my constituents and all American citizens, have been unjustly prevented from leaving China since June 2018. Cynthia and Victor are two promising young people have had their lives put on hold while being forced to remain in a country where they face regular surveillance, harassment, and threats from Chinese authorities. This legislation will hold accountable those Chinese authorities who participate in this sinister practice.”

“China’s use of exit bans on my constituents and other American citizens must end,” Warren said. “I’m glad to partner with Senator Markey on a bill that would hold the Chinese government accountable for this unjust policy.” 

 “Right now Chinese officials are preventing U.S. citizens who have done nothing wrong from leaving China. This is a gross abuse of power that must be answered,” Van Hollen said. “This bipartisan legislation holds the Chinese government accountable and makes clear that there will be continuing consequences if China does not stop abusing the rights of American citizens.”