China travel warning

This advice for Australian travellers is from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Australians travelling or resident in the People's Republic of China should exercise due care and maintain a high level of personal security awareness at all times.

Although China is considered generally safe for travellers, crime directed at foreigners is becoming more frequent in major cities and tourist areas. While serious crime against foreigners is rare, petty crime, such as pick pocketing and purse snatching is on the increase. Foreigners have been beaten and robbed, particularly in the popular expatriate bar areas of Beijing and Shanghai at night. Resistance to attempted robbery can lead to violence.

Travellers should avoid large public gatherings or demonstrations, particularly of a political nature, and monitor developments that may affect their personal safety.

Areas bordering Siberia, Pakistan, Vietnam, Laos and Burma are poorly policed. There is also risk of attack from armed bandits in the more remote areas of China, such as those on the Gansu/Sichuan border.

Driving in China can be hazardous. The poor quality of many roads and generally low driving standards lead to many, sometimes serious, accidents. Child safety seats and seatbelts in taxis are not widely available.

China is located in an active seismic zone and is subject to earthquakes. The rainy season occurs between April and October. Severe rainstorms can cause flooding and reduce the provision of essential services. Flooding is most prevalent in central and southern China. Typhoons can occur along the southern and eastern coasts. Travellers should monitor weather reports when travelling in affected areas.

A health declaration card must be completed upon arrival in China. HIV-positive status is grounds for refusal of entry or deportation. Anyone applying for permanent residence, or intending to stay or study for longer than one year, must either produce upon arrival an HIV test certificate (approved by a Chinese Embassy or Consulate abroad) or undergo a test within 20 days.

Click here for more information from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

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