The Wire China: Barriers to Exit / The risk of not being allowed out of China is adding to the list of concerns for foreign business people operating in the country.

But for James McGregor, a China-focused business consultant who lived in China for three decades and moved back to the U.S. during Covid, visiting China is still worth the risk. He departed this week for a month-long trip to China, and says it’s important for the overall U.S.-China relationship for business people like him to keep going. “Business has always been considered the strongest bridge between the U.S. and China — to bring mutual understanding and an environment where everyone can be successful. But in some cases, it has turned from being the bridge to the battleground, especially in technology,” he says. “If we lose the bridge of business, we lose maybe the last tether holding the U.S. and China together.”