China’s political status is one of a one-party state which is run by the Communist Party of China (CPC). The CPC runs the state media closely and other media outlets are monitored such as 3rd party news reporting and journalistic investigations. In addition to this, the internet is also tightly controlled where certain websites such as social networking are heavily restricted. Autonomous regions in China such as Tibet and Xinjiang Uyghur have potential for social uprising, as can other regions such as Hong Kong; heightened levels of security is possible in these regions.
Crime in China does happen but is generally considered to be rare. Incidents such as street muggings, robbery, and pickpocketing are possible, especially in crowded locations and known tourist hotspots. Foreign travelers don’t usually get targeted for serious crime opportunities; however, it’s important to remain cautious to the risk.
In the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the threat of terror attacks linked to the East Turkestan Islamic Movement is credible. As a result, there is a heightened security presence where people are subject to airport-style security checks when entering buildings.
China is prone to various natural disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes and flooding, which can have a massive impact on travel plans. As a result of frequent floods, rural areas are vulnerable to landslides which makes driving dangerous. Typhoon season in China runs between May and November.
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