China is cautioning its citizens against traveling to the U.S., citing safety concerns and telling tourists to look out for harassment by American law enforcement as tensions between the two countries continue to build.
In a public notice issued Tuesday, the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism stated that “shootings, robberies and thefts have occurred frequently in the United States.”
The department urged travelers “to fully assess the risk of travel to the United States, keep abreast of information on public security, laws and regulations, and improve their awareness of safety and security.”
The same day, the South China Morning Post reported that China’s foreign ministry and its embassy in the U.S. issued a separate statement instructing tourists to beware of efforts by American authorities to “harass” travelers with procedures like immigration checks and interviews.
Both warnings will remain active until the end of the year.
According to The Associated Press, Chinese social media users have been complaining of U.S. denials of visas and green cards under the Trump administration. The U.S. government has attempted to cut back on the number of foreign visitors, defending the move on economic and security grounds.
Tuesday’s alerts arrive amid increasingly strained U.S.-China relations, which have worsened in large part due to an intensifying trade war.
Furthermore, on Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rebuked China for its severe lack of transparency surrounding the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre in which hundreds, if not thousands, of pro-democracy demonstrators were killed in a military crackdown.
Responding on Tuesday, the 30th anniversary of the military clearing Tiananmen Square, a Chinese Embassy spokespersoncalled Pompeo’s statement “a serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations.”
U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are set to attend the G-20 summit in Japan later this month. However, financial experts from both nations have expressed doubt that the leaders will be able to broker a deal there to ease the trade war.