Tourists traveling to the US should be ever vigilant as gun violence and robberies are rampant, healthcare is expensive and natural disasters can occur at any moment, China’s Washington embassy has warned.
Shootings, robberies and theft are commonplace in US cities as law and order “is not good” there, the embassy cautioned in newly released travel advice. Diplomats there say that going out alone at night or recklessness towards “suspicious people around you” is the easiest way of getting into trouble.
Chinese tourists in Moscow © Sergey Pyatakov Chinese tourism to Russia booming with record 1.5 million visitors
In addition, “medical services are expensive in the United States,” the embassy notice said, urging Chinese citizens to organize health cover beforehand. Aside from gun violence and unaffordable healthcare, travelers should pay attention to US weather forecast and climate-related news, and take precautions in the event of a natural disaster.
The Chinese travel advice also touched upon US border policy, notifying travelers that border agents have the right to scrutinize incoming tourists in detail without a search warrant.
“If the customs enforcement officers have doubts about the purpose of your visit or your documents, you need to proceed to the secondary inspection area for further inspection and interview,” the notice said, adding “a valid US visa does not guarantee you the right to enter the United States.”
China has previously cautioned its citizens about gun violence in the US. Just a few months ago, Chinese Foreign Ministry reportedly distributed a warning via mobile messaging app WeChat, telling people to be careful and “prepare for the possibility that gun crimes may occur at workplaces, schools, at home and at tourist sites,” according to the New York Times.
The US State Department, in turn, referred to China as “a very safe country” for most visitors in its latest travel advice, but cautioned that “domestic unrest and even terrorism” do occur there. Unlicensed “black cabs,” counterfeit currency and “tourist tea scams” – a criminal scheme in which the Chinese invite visitors to tea and leave them with an exorbitant bill – have been listed as major dangers for US tourists.