chin



Location: East Asia
Capital: Beijing

Time zone: GMT/UTC plus 8 hours
Daylight savings time: no
Current time: 02:06
Population: 1,373,310,000
Currency: yuan
Dialling code: +86
Internet suffix: .cn/.hk/.mo

China is a large, populous country visited by millions of travellers each year. Infrastructure is well developed and safety levels are good. Its rich history, culture, cuisine and fast-advancing economy means that it will only become more of a popular travel destination over the coming years.

Special Administrative Regions
For further specific analysis and information on the Special Administrative Regions of China please select from the following menu:

Hong Kong
Macau


Overall security situation: mostly secure
Crime rate: extremely low
Murder rate: extremely low
Gun ownership levels: average
Kidnapping hotspot: no
Maritime piracy hotspot: no
Do landmines/unexploded munitions pose a significant risk in parts of the country: no

China is a highly secure country although there are one or two issues of note. While institutions are well-evolved and resilient, there is still room for improvement. Nonetheless, improvement continues to occur every year.

Law enforcement measures are effective and the crime rate is extremely low. Murders are infrequent for a country of this size.

Some groups in society have grievances with the status quo and there can be occasional demonstrations, but the authorities normally control such events very tightly.

There is a moderate risk of terrorism, with sporadic incidents in recent years, although it is no worse than any developed country in the West.


Aviation safety levels: standard
Annual road fatality rates: very high
Vehicles drive on the: right (left in Hong Kong and Macau)
Infrastructure quality: excellent
Urban ATM availability: moderate
Electricity supply: 220V 50Hz
Electricity supply reliability: relatively consistent
Plug types: A, C and I

Plug type A (2 flat pins, not grounded/earthed)

Plug type C (2 round pins, not grounded/earthed)

Plug type I (2 or 3 flat pins, those with 3 pins are grounded/earthed, those with 2 are not)
   


Is tap water drinkable: no
Healthcare quality: room for improvement
Infectious disease prevalence: extremely low (although outbreaks have occurred in the past)

Vaccinations

Travellers should consult a medical practitioner prior to their trip but the following vaccines may be considered before travelling to the country, depending on factors such as specific destination, planned activities, intended time and length of stay as well as personal medical conditions (in some cases no additional vaccines may be required at all, especially for travel to destinations such as Hong Kong):

  • Cholera (usually only recommended for aid workers or those spending time in at-risk areas)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B (not always needed)
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Rabies (usually only for long-term stays, or for those spending time in isolated areas or coming into contact with animals)
  • Tick-borne encephalitis (usually only for those spending time in at-risk forested areas)
  • Typhoid
  • Standard vaccinations (ie those commonly used in the developed world, such as diphtheria, measles, mumps, polio, rubella, tuberculosis and tetanus)

Disease presence

Malaria risk: very low (none in Hong Kong or Macau)
Yellow fever presence: no
Dengue fever prevalence: frequent cases
Rabies prevalence: high risk (low risk in Hong Kong)
HIV prevalence in society: low
Hepatitis A prevalence: high
Hepatitis B prevalence: high
Hepatitis E prevalence: highly endemic
Cholera status: occasional outbreaks in some areas
Chikungunya virus presence: present

Zika virus presence: not recently reported
Japanese encephalitis presence: yes
Cutaneous leishmaniasis presence: endemic
Visceral leishmaniasis presence: endemic
Onchocerciasis presence: non-endemic
Schistosomiasis presence: low
Tick-borne encephalitis status: high risk in some areas
Chagas disease presence: none

Typhoid fever presence: endemic
African trypanosomiasis presence: none
Plague status: present
Rift Valley fever status: not present
Lassa fever status: not present
Polio status: not endemic
Ebola outbreaks: no
Meningococcal meningitis hotspot: no


Climate: extremely diverse; tropical in south to sub-arctic in north
Terrain: mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east
Natural disaster risk: moderately high
Natural hazards: frequent typhoons along southern and eastern coasts (especially between May and November); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; land subsidence; landslides; drought
Tropical storms: common
Volcanic activity: country contains some historically active volcanoes including Changbaishan (also known as Baitoushan, Baegdu, or P’aektu-san), Hainan Dao, and Kunlun although most have been relatively inactive in recent centuries
Previous earthquake(s) with over 1,000 fatalities: yes


Government type: Communist state (limited democracies in Hong Kong and Macao)
Socio-economic development score: 6/10 (medium levels of socio-economic development)
Adult literacy rate: 96.4%
Unemployment rate: very low
Civil liberties: restricted
Investment rating: investment grade
Corruption levels: fairly high (although it is considered to be low in Hong Kong and Macau)
Same-sex sexual activity: legal
Death penalty: in use
Languages: Standard Chinese or Mandarin (official; Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages
Ethnic groups: Han Chinese 91.6%, Zhuang 1.3%, other (includes Hui, Manchu, Uighur, Miao, Yi, Tujia, Tibetan, Mongol, Dong, Buyei, Yao, Bai, Korean, Hani, Li, Kazakh, Dai and other nationalities) 7.1%
Beliefs: Buddhist 18.2%, Christian 5.1%, Muslim 1.8%, folk religion 21.9%, Hindu < .1%, Jewish < .1%, other 0.7% (includes Daoist (Taoist)), unaffiliated 52.2%

General guidelines

  • The following advice has been compiled by travel safety specialists and ex-special forces personnel.
  • However, please note that it is of a general nature only and may not reflect the reality of your circumstances.
  • Ensure you have proper insurance cover in place.
  • Select good quality accommodation and properly prepare for any tasks, excursions or other activities you have to undertake.
  • Be mindful of local laws and cultural norms, bearing in mind that they might be different to what you are accustomed to.

Healthcare

  • Bear in mind that healthcare facilities and services may be less extensive than what you are used to at home.
  • Facilities and services may be particularly limited in rural areas.
  • Pharmacies may not offer the same medications you might be accustomed to being able to purchase at home.
  • If you use any medications on a regular basis, consider taking extra supplies.
  • It may also be advisable to have them accompanied by a note from your doctor.
  • In the event of serious or complicated illness or injury it may be necessary for a patient to be evacuated out of the country.
  • Ensure that there is sufficient medical insurance in place to cover such an event.

Disease

  • Find out whether or not there are any specific diseases in the location(s) you intend to travel to.
  • Research the specific measures you should take to lower the risk of infection.
  • It might be useful to seek medical advice prior to your trip.
  • If possible, do this several weeks in advance of your travel, in case you need to obtain specific vaccinations, some of which can take time to be administered properly.
  • Be careful with any cuts and grazes which might be more susceptible to infection in your travel destination than at home.
  • Hygiene will be very important, but it can be more challenging to maintain good standards of hygiene in some parts of the world.
  • Try to avoid venues which appear unsanitary.
  • Be very aware of any medical symptoms which might arise, both when you are travelling and for up to a month after you return home.
  • Seek medical assistance if you have any concerns.

Road traffic accident

  • Be aware of local driving conditions and hazards.
  • Drive defensively and adhere to speed limits to minimise the risk of being caught up in an accident, or request that your driver(s) do the same.
  • If using a taxi or local driver, ensure that they are qualified and competent and that their vehicle appears well maintained.
  • Ensure that vehicles are in good working order before travel.
  • Perform regular checks on your vehicles for oil, fuel, tyres and seatbelts.
  • Consider taking additional equipment such as a jack, spare tyres, water, blankets, torches and a first aid kit, especially if travelling to more rural or isolated areas.
  • Consider using four-wheel drive vehicles for particularly poor road conditions.
  • Car users should know how to perform emergency repairs.

Weather

  • If rainfall, flooding, extreme temperatures or other types of severe weather are a concern, check the local weather patterns to find out if there are times of the year where the risk is much higher.
  • Consider avoiding travel to at-risk destinations during these times.
  • Try to stay in good quality accommodation.
  • Take appropriate clothing and footwear.
  • Take appropriate protection for any sensitive equipment you wish to bring.
  • Note that storms, flooding and other types of harsh weather can overload infrastructure, lead to traffic jams and power cuts.
  • Flooding and heavy rainfall can also raise the risk of landslides, as well as insect- and water-borne diseases in some parts of the world.
  • As such, be prepared to delay, alter or even cancel travel plans to affected or high-risk areas.

Seismic activity

  • Be prepared to respond at short notice to any seismic activity.
  • Create an emergency plan to follow in the event of an incident that involves a communications breakdown, so you can meet colleagues at a designated meeting point if you are separated and cannot get in contact with one another.
  • Practise drills such as “drop, seek cover and hold on” procedure so that you can take shelter as soon as an incident occurs.
  • Know the location of your nearest medical kit and medically trained personnel.
  • Knowledge of basic first aid will also be very useful.
  • Get away from glass or anything that could fall if shaking starts.
  • Consider carrying a whistle that can be used to alert first responders in the event that you are trapped after an earthquake – although bear in mind that in some circumstances and/or locations there may not be much in the way of first response capabilities, particularly following a damaging earthquake.
  • In the event of an incident, avoid damaged buildings that might still be at risk of collapse.
  • Be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Note that earthquakes can trigger tsunamis and landslides so be prepared to move out of harm’s way once the shaking has stopped.
  • You may need to move very quickly and with limited time.

Civil unrest

  • Civil unrest can lead to road closures and even curfews, which can affect your travel plans.
  • Be prepared for delays and route alterations.
  • Avoid demonstrations as they can turn violent.
  • Large gatherings of people can be difficult to predict or control and can lead to issues such as mob violence, arson, assault and looting.
  • The security forces may use excessive force to control events in some circumstances, posing an indiscriminate risk to anyone in the area.
  • Even without any particular violence, large demonstrations can be at risk of poor crowd control, which can lead to crushes and stampedes.
  • If demonstrations take place on a frequent basis, research the trends which tend to accompany them.
  • Where do they tend to take place? Do they tend to turn violent? Do attendees target specific types of building or representative interests associated with a specific nationality, industry, political group (such as party-political offices, state buildings or foreign-owned businesses)?
  • Once you have identified the sorts of risks, trends and areas of higher risk to be avoided you can start planning to minimise your exposure.
  • If civil unrest appears to be particularly volatile, or set to last for an extended period, try to stock up with essential items (including food, water and medicine) in case you are stuck in your accommodation or work place or other location for an extended period of time.
  • Be prepared to alter your plans at short notice and even to leave the area or even the whole country if conditions escalate. deteriorate.
  • Identify evacuation routes and safe havens in case you need to get out of harms way at short notice.
  • It is also advisable to identify the evacuation routes and fire safety procedures at your accommodation and/or work place in case you need to leave in a hurry.
  • Beware of photography at sensitive sites or during civil disturbance.

Crime

  • Research and familiarise yourself with your destination in advance of travel.
  • Find out what the local criminal trends are and identify any potential hotspots, such as certain neighbourhoods.
  • You may wish to avoid the higher risk areas, but this is not always practical.
  • As such, in higher risk areas exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Note that jewellery, watches, mobile phones, laptops or other items may mark you out as a potential target for petty thieves.
  • Be careful with your wallet and cash.
  • Note that crime trends can change, and the level of risk can become higher, after dark.
  • In general, use your gut instincts and be prepared avoid situations, places or people that seem suspicious, odd or wrong in some way.

Terrorism

  • Terrorism can pose a risk, even in otherwise mostly safe countries.
  • Assess the trends and tactics of any relevant terrorist organisations with the potential for targeting your location and identify potential targets.
  • Be vigilant in and around these areas, which could include crowded places, symbolic or sensitive political sites, or busy restaurant, nightlife or tourist spots.
  • Use your judgement on the frequency of incidents taking place. Just because an incident has taken place in a certain city does not mean that the city will regularly be hit again – use rational judgement to decide whether or not there is a likelihood that you will be caught up in any future incidents.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and be prepared to react at short notice in the event of an incident.
  • In the event of an incident, get out of the area quickly if it is safe to do so.
  • Alternatively hide and try to keep out of harm’s way.
  • In most cases you should only try to help other people if it is safe for you to do so.
  • Keep quiet and notify the relevant authorities, colleagues or loved ones only when you are out of danger.