BEIJING – Beijing’s police Thursday declared a yellow security alert on Christmas Eve, after the U.S. embassy in the Chinese capital warned it has received information about “possible threats” against “Westerners” in Sanlitum, one of the city’s most crowded neighborhoods, state-run broadcaster CCTV reported on its Twitter account.
Special units have been deployed in Sanlitum and other surrounding areas.
By early afternoon, three members of the armed special forces patrolled the Village mall at the same corner where four months ago a young man killed a Chinese woman and injured her French companion with a Japanese sword.
Units have also been deployed in front of malls and the well-known Workers’ Stadium and barricades have been put up in front of several embassies, according to photos posted by journalists on Twitter.
China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei said in a press conference the Chinese government attached great importance to the security of Chinese citizens and will ensure the security of Chinese citizens and foreign personnel in China.
Several U.S. citizens residing in China received an email from the embassy Thursday morning warning them the embassy has “received information of possible threats against Westerners in the Sanlitum area of Beijing, on or around Christmas Day.”
Hours later the UK and French embassies also asked their citizens to take precautions.