US warns about higher risk of attacks in China

Other News Materials 26 April 2008 08:15 (UTC +04:00)

The U.S. government on Friday issued a travel alert for China, citing a higher risk of attacks within the country in the near future, including possibly at the Olympic Games in August, Reuters reported.

"Any large-scale public event such as the upcoming Olympic Games may present an attractive target for terrorists," the State Department said in the alert.

"There is a heightened risk that extremist groups will conduct terrorist acts within China in the near future," it said, urging Americans who live in China or traveling there to be cautious in hotels, restaurants, on public transportation, and in areas of large public gatherings.

It also urged U.S. citizen to avoid demonstrations.

Chinese commanders this month told the country's paramilitary forces to ensure domestic stability and guard against any security threats that could upset the Games.

China People's Armed Police is deployed to quell riots and unrest, and has been heavily involved in cracking down on protest and riots against Chinese policies and influence that shook the region from mid-March.

Beijing is worried that activists from abroad, who have disrupted the international journey of the Olympic torch relay, will also stage protests inside China over Tibet, Darfur, human rights and other issues during the Games.

The State Department cited increased security in Chinese airports, including tighter restrictions on taking liquids, aerosols or gels aboard flights in carry-on baggage.

It urged U.S. travelers to contact their air carrier before their flight to determine the precise regulation in place.

"American citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security," the State Department said.