The Chinese Embassy in Washington posted a notice last week telling travelers that “shooting, robbery, and theft are frequent” in the United States Tourists were also warned to “be alert to suspicious people around you, avoid going out alone at night.”
According to the embassy’s memo, “American public security is not sufficient” in protecting against gun violence. The Chinese Embassy also warned Chinese travelers against the high cost of medical expenses and the danger of summer natural disasters in the U.S.
China has been warning its citizens about gun violence in the U.S. for years. In 2016, after a Chinese student was shot and killed in Arizona, the embassy told travelers to avoid “crime scenes and tough neighborhoods.” Just a few months ago, the Chinese Foreign Ministry sent a notice via WeChat: “Be careful and prepare for the possibility that gun crimes may occur at workplaces, schools, at home, and at tourist sites.”According to a 2015 study, Yemen is the only other country in the world with a higher rate of mass shootings, adjusted for population.
In January, the U.S. State Department warned travelers about arbitrary detentions that could take place during a trip to China but otherwise, the country was considered “generally safe.”
The U.S. is currently seeing a drop in foreign tourist arrivals, which some have dubbed the “Trump Slump.” Critics are attributing the decline to current political rhetoric and the travel ban, which was upheld by the Supreme Court last week. Travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries — including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen — are currently barred from entering the U.S.
Nearly 3 million Chinese tourists visited the U.S. in 2016. Not only are there more Chinese tourists around the world than any other nationality, they’re the most likely to spend money while traveling. In one year, Chinese travelers are estimated to have spent $261 billion abroad.