Taiwan recently increased its travel alert level to "orange" for Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau. This decision comes after reports that Taiwanese visitors to these areas have faced unlawful detentions and questioning. 

The Taiwan Mainland Affairs Council advised Taiwanese people to avoid unnecessary travel there. They cited concerns about new laws related to national security in these regions, which they believe pose a risk to the safety of Taiwanese travelers.

Taiwan Raises Travel Alert to China, Faces Backlash from Hong Kong

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Taiwan Travel Alert Sparks China Tension

Just last week, China introduced harsher legal penalties, including the death penalty, for severe cases involving advocates of Taiwanese independence. These guidelines aim to punish acts that could split the country or promote breaking away from it. 

The Council urged people from Taiwan to steer clear of discussing sensitive topics, taking photos of military sites, or carrying certain types of books when visiting these areas.

In response, according to Jurist News, Zhu Fenglian from China's Taiwan Affairs Office criticized the travel warnings as political moves by Taiwan. Zhu argued that these warnings are not in line with the views of the Taiwanese public and could damage the relationship between Taiwan and China. 

Zhu assured that the general Taiwanese population is not targeted by these laws, which are meant only for a few who push for secession.

Moreover, Zhu emphasized that Taiwanese people should feel safe traveling to China, claiming their rights will be protected under Chinese law.

This escalation in travel advisories comes at a tense time. Just last month, China conducted military exercises around Taiwan, seen as a warning against Taiwanese independence efforts. 

These military actions occurred shortly after Lai Ching-te took office as President of Taiwan, signaling Beijing's displeasure with his administration.

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Heightened Tensions Ignite Controversy

Hong Kong has sharply criticized Taiwan after Taiwan raised its travel alert to the second-highest level for Hong Kong, Macau, and Mainland China. This warning from Taiwan advises its citizens to avoid unnecessary travel due to the enactment of several security laws and recent changes to China's judicial guidelines that potentially threaten their personal safety. 

These changes include harsh penalties, such as the death penalty, for those supporting Taiwan's independence.

As per the Hong Kong Free Press, the Hong Kong government responded strongly to Taiwan's actions, accusing it of manipulating facts and using the travel advisory to further political agendas. 

Officials in Hong Kong insist that their new security laws align with international human rights standards and are similar to security legislation in other countries. They argue these laws are crucial for maintaining national security.

Recently, Hong Kong implemented its own security legislation, Article 23. This law addresses serious offenses, including treason, insurrection, and sedition. It also allows for prolonged detention without charge and restricted access to legal counsel, with some crimes punishable by life imprisonment. 

Despite the government's insistence on its necessity, Article 23 has faced international criticism for being overly broad and ambiguous. Critics argue it could suppress freedoms, as it was pushed through a legislature currently devoid of any opposition.

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