American, British and several other foreign embassies in Chinese capital Beijing have been warned Thursday of possible threats on or around Christmas in a popular shopping and embassy district. Westerners have been urged to exercise hightened vigilance.
The Beijing police too have issued a yellow alert, the lowest out of three security-warning levels, calling people to be aware of security and public order during the holiday season in shopping malls and supermarkets.
The US and UK warnings have singled out the Sanlitun neighborhood in eastern Beijing without giving further details and the reasons for the alert as well.
United States Embassy spokesman Benjamin Weber said, “We do not have any additional information at this time.”
Sanlitun is one of the main shopping, eating and districts in Beijing.
Chinese government meanwhile has increased the presence of police in the city after the alert. Armed officers have been stationed at the shopping complex in Sanlitun, Taikoo Li Sanlitun.
Attacks on foreigners are rare in Sanlitun but the area has been site of violence.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in his daily press brief the government places high level of attention to safety and takes all necessary steps in protecting the security of citizens as well as foreign personnel in the country.