Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Online reactions to Kurdish referendum

Read more

THE DEBATE

Iraq's Kurds: Will referendum really lead to independence?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Catalonia independence vote: Tensions rise between Barcelona and Madrid

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Catalonia’s regional foreign affairs chief: ‘This referendum is not illegal’

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Lucy Rose live, Ibeyi and Miley Cyrus

Read more

FOCUS

Judicial reforms: Polish government on collision course with EU

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Euro, stocks slide on Merkel's lacklustre election win

Read more

#THE 51%

Hola 'Ellas Hoy' - The 51 Percent welcomes its sister show on FRANCE 24 Spanish

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Donald Trump Vs NFL: America's divider in chief or America's saviour?

Read more

Asia-pacific

UK, US embassies warn of threats against ‘Westerners’ in Beijing

© Goh Chai Hin, AFP file picture | The British and US embassies have urged their citizens to be vigilant

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2015-12-24

Foreign embassies in China issued a warning Thursday about possible threats against "Westerners" in a popular Beijing neighbourhood ahead of the Christmas holiday.

The notice, from the US and British governments, covered the popular shopping and nightlife area of Sanlitun.

The area has been the site of occasional violence against foreigners, including a grisly murder in August when a Chinese attacker stabbed a French man and his Chinese wife with a sword. The woman later died from her injuries.

Mass attacks in Beijing are very rare, although in October 2013 five people were killed and dozens injured when a vehicle ploughed into crowds in Tiananmen Square, with the suspects appearing to be mostly from the restive Xinjiang region.

Beijing described the incident as a terrorist attack.

The US embassy's statement on its website Thursday urged citizens to be vigilant, while the British embassy made a similar warning, saying it had received information about possible threats against Westerners on or around Christmas.

The French embassy passed on the US warning to its citizens.

Photos on social media showed a heightened police presence in front of a Sanlitun shopping centre home to major international brands.

They also showed a camouflage van surrounded by men armed with rifles wearing fatigues in a plaza near one of Beijing's two embassy districts.

The city's police department issued a yellow alert Thursday, the second level in a four-tier system, according to a post on its social media account.

A yellow alert is issued when authorities have information about a significant and approaching threat to public security, state media said. They can relate to natural disasters as well as issues linked to social order.

The alert, expected to last through New Year, would "ensure good social order during the upcoming holidays", police said, adding that it was due to "the gradual increase of shopping promotions, celebrations and entertainment activities".

It did not offer any more details, but the measure comes after a stampede in Shanghai last New Year's Eve that left over 30 dead and was blamed on poor crowd control.

(AFP)

Date created : 2015-12-24

  • CHINA

    China executes Tiananmen Square attack 'masterminds'

    Read more

  • China

    Tourists killed after car crashes into Tiananmen Square

    Read more

COMMENT(S)