Foreign Office warns of Christmas Day threats against westerners in Beijing


The Foreign Office has warned of "possible threats" against westerners in Beijing around Christmas Day.

British citizens are urged to exercise "heightened vigilance" and the UK Embassy has issued the same guidance to British Government staff.

It is understood that the threats are terror-related.

In the travel advice section of the Foreign Office website, it says: "The British Embassy Beijing has received information of possible threats against Westerners in the Sanlitun area of Beijing, on or around Christmas Day. British citizens are urged to exercise heightened vigilance."

In a section of the website specifically about China, it says there is a "general threat from terrorism", but adds that the risk of attacks is higher in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region.

The advice says: "Although foreigners haven't been specifically targeted, attacks could occur in places visited by foreigners.

"You should be particularly vigilant in Xinjiang. Outside of Xinjiang you should be vigilant when transiting public transport hubs, which have been the subject of recent attacks."

The Foreign Office also advises people to take care when attending events involving large crowds.

"Thirty six people died on New Year's Eve in 2014 following a stampede at the New Year celebrations held in the Bund area of Shanghai,", it says. 

Over 570,000 British nationals visit mainland China every year and most visits are trouble-free.