Travel to China Means Assessing the Risks — Supply and Personal

Trade isn't the only contentious issue has with China these days. Travel to the country comes with an advisory statement that was reissued last week by the U.S. State Department.

The warning doesn’t suggest that travelers not go to China, just that they be aware of the risks and “exercise increased caution.”

Those risks seem to be heightened by the recent arrest of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of China’s Huawei telecom company, in Vancouver by Canadian authorities. The U.S. requested her arrest in a case investigating violations of sanctions against Iran. After her arrest, two Canadians have been detained by China, which also has said Canada should rethink helping the U.S. or lose favor as a trading partner.

A former Canadian foreign affairs minister, John Manley, told Canada TV that he would not travel to China right now and that he has given the same advice to business executives he knows. "I would not, save and except for having a diplomatic passport, go to China at this point in time. I think there's just too much uncertainty," Manley told CTV “Power Play” on Monday’s episode.

But for all this concern and the talk of reshoring jobs from Asia, businesses are still choosing to set up in China. Just this week, for example, Elon Musk broke ground for an auto production facility in Shanghai to build Teslas for the Asian market.

So since plenty of procurement and supply chain professionals must travel to China to ensure smooth operations for their companies, let’s look at recent coverage of the issue.

Spend Matters UK/Europe published a post from riskmethods, a firm that focuses on supply chain risk management, on the topic. Here is an excerpt from the company’s analysis:

“Sourcing from China is risky right now. In fact, our risk scores show China as one of the largest export nations with a high supply chain risk score. It also has a high position on the Corruption Perception Index, which, with the surging focus on corporate social responsibility and compliance in supply chains these days, is certainly no small thing.”

Read the full story here.

MetalMiner, a sister site to Spend Matters, provided an overview of the renewed U.S. policy and how China seems to be detaining people as they try to leave the country. And in light of other recent developments in China — like President Xi Jinping being given a lifetime rein with no term limits and the country's continued tension with Taiwan — the our colleagues' article ended with this stark view:

“China is not a benign democracy, but an autocratic single-party state controlled by an increasingly powerful centrist elite.

“The West’s view that China would become progressively more liberal and democratic over time has proved to be fundamentally flawed — and with that realization, our perception of risk for employees and contractors we send or employ there should change too.”

Read the MetalMiner story here: The Latest China Supply Risk You Need to Know About

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