Staying Out of Trouble

This section goes through some of what you can do to protect yourself from scams, crime, and legal problems.

Contacting your embassy or consulate

If your travel plans include staying at a place other than an international, standard tourist hotel, registering with your nearest embassy or consulate — before you need assistance — may be a good idea. Many embassies and consulates in China have registration procedures for visitors. In the event of an emergency, the embassy or consulate knows where to contact you.

If you need any help in China, contact your embassy or consulate as soon as you can. Keep the contact details of the embassy or consulate with you when you travel to China. Most European, North American, and some Asian countries have consulates in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and other places in China.

Protecting yourself against crime

Researchers estimate that the transient population in China is over 120 million people, representing almost 10 percent of China’s population. Most of the transient population has flocked from the countryside to China’s booming cities in search of jobs. With such a large number of people on the move, it’s not surprising that crime is on the rise. Many people are out of work as China’s “iron rice bowl” (employment and benefits guaranteed by the government) no longer applies, and desperation can move some people to illegal actions.

Take the usual precautions while in China. The best advice is to be alert at ...

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