U.S. Embassy in Beijing Warns of Threat Against Foreigners

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The U.S. Embassy in Beijing said Thursday 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 U.S. 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 Inc. opened its first store in China in 2008.

The British and French embassies in Beijing both issued subsequent statements urging their nationals to exercise heightened vigilance in the Sanlitun area on and around Christmas Day.

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.