While travelling in China you are subject to the country’s local laws, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards. If you’re arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But they can’t get you out of trouble or out of jail. Research the laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.
In China, a person aged 14 years and above is considered to be responsible for their actions and treated as an adult under the law. If detained, a person of this age will be held with adults and be subject to the same conditions and legal processes as adults.
Other legal issues
Demonstrations without prior approval from the government are prohibited. These laws are strictly enforced and if arrested, you could be jailed or deported.
Gambling and prostitution are illegal in mainland China.
Photography of military or government buildings may result in a penalty. You should seek permission from local authorities before taking photographs.
Homosexual acts are not illegal in China, but you should be aware of local sensitivities. See our LGBTI travellers page page.
You should carry evidence of your identity at all times and present it upon demand of police authorities. Your passport or a Chinese residence card is an acceptable form of identity. Failure to carry ID or comply with the registration requirement could result in fines and detention.
Restrictions apply to certain religious activities, including preaching, distributing literature and associating with unapproved religious groups. Falun Gong activities are banned in China. If you participate, you could be arrested, imprisoned and/or deported.
Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, child pornography, and child sex tourism, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.
smartraveller.gov.au. 2016. China. [ONLINE] Available at: http://smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/China. [Accessed 11 November 16]
For more travel information, visit the Australian Government’s ‘Smartraveller’ website.