US, British and French embassies in Beijing warn of threat against foreigners

A woman walking past a mall in Beijing on Sept 29, 2015.
A woman walking past a mall in Beijing on Sept 29, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - The United States embassy in Beijing said on Thursday (Dec 24) it received information of possible threats against Westerners visiting a popular shopping district in the Chinese capital on or around Christmas Day.

In a message sent to US citizens, the embassy urged heightened vigilance and said that it had issued the same guidance to American government personnel. The Sanlitun district of Beijing, for which the warning was issued, is home to numerous bars and restaurants and is also where Apple opened its first store in China in 2008.

The area has also been the site of violence. In August, a sword-wielding man attacked a Chinese woman and a French man, with the woman later dying at a local hospital, according to a report by the official Xinhua News Agency.

A similar notice was also issued by the British and French embassies in Beijing on Thursday (Dec 24), urging their citizens to exercise vigilance, media reports said.