China warns citizens against travel to the US

Beijing has stepped up its warnings against the U.S. by cautioning about working, studying and traveling in America.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced a safety warning on Tuesday for Chinese citizens and companies in the U.S.. according to state broadcaster CCTV.

“Recently, U.S. law enforcement agencies have on multiple occasions used methods such as entry and exit checks, and on-site interviews to harass Chinese citizens in the U.S.,” the ministry said, according to CCTV.

“The Foreign Ministry and the Chinese Embassy and Consulate in the U.S. warn Chinese citizens and Chinese-invested institutions to raise their safety awareness, strengthen preventative measures, and respond properly,” it added.

“In case of emergency, please promptly contact the Chinese consulate in the U.S. for help.”

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism also issued an alert Tuesday for Chinese tourists traveling to America. “Recently, shootings, robberies and theft have occurred frequently in the U.S.,” the ministry said on its website in Chinese, according to a CNBC translation.

Tuesday’s announcements follow the Ministry of Education’s warning on Monday for Chinese students studying abroad that noted recent U.S. restrictions on some Chinese student visas.

The multiple warnings come amid increasing trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies. Beijing toughened its stance over the weekend by officially laying the blame on the U.S. for the trade war, to which U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration responded by saying China was pursuing a “blame game.”

In January, the State Department issued a travel advisory telling American citizens to “exercise increased caution” when traveling to China due to Beijing’s attempts, on occasion, to prevent U.S. citizens from leaving the Asian country. On Saturday, The Associated Press reported the State Department is now requiring nearly all U.S. visa applicants to submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone numbers.

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