U.S. Embassy In China Warns Of Possible Threat Against Westerners During Christmas

A warning has been issued for one of the most popular shopping districts in Beijing. On Thursday, the U.S. embassy in China warned about "possible threats" against westerners in the Sanlitun neighborhood during the holiday period. Other countries soon followed suit.

"The U.S. Embassy has received information of possible threats against Westerners in the Sanlitun area of Beijing, on or around Christmas Day," the embassy statement read. "U.S. citizens are urged to exercise heightened vigilance." A few hours later, the British embassy issued its own warning for its citizens as did the French.

According to ABC News, China's capital was on heightened alert and authorities beefed up patrols throughout the city. A "yellow warning" was put out that warned people about busy areas such as shopping malls and supermarkets, according to the Washington Post.

Sanlitun is a heavily frequented neighborhood by both locals and foreigners. The area enjoys a sprawling shopping center featuring high-end labels and restaurants, and a busy nightlife takes over when the sun goes down. However, it was also the site where a man used a long sword to attack a French man and Chinese woman in August, which explains why Chinese authorities are on edge to maintain public safety.

If you are in an emergency, you're strongly encouraged to contact the U.S. embassy by phone at (+86 10) 8531-4000 or by email at beijingACS@state.gov.