The Chinese Government will sometimes not authorize the travel of official U.S. personnel to certain areas of Tibet. These travel limitations may hinder the ability of the U.S. Government to provide assistance to private U.S. citizens in those areas. U.S. tourists are also sometimes not authorized to travel to certain parts of Tibet.
U.S. citizens visiting or residing in China are advised to take routine safety precautions. In particular, travelers should remain aware of their surroundings and of ongoing events. They should respect local police requirements prohibiting travel in some areas. Travelers should verify with U.S. tour operators that local guides being used are familiar with medical facilities and emergency medical evacuation procedures. Security personnel may at times place foreign visitors under surveillance. Hotel rooms, telephones, and fax machines may be monitored, and personal possessions in hotel rooms, including computers, may be searched without the consent or knowledge of the traveler. Taking photographs of anything that could be perceived as being of military or security interest may result in problems with authorities. Foreign government officials, journalists, and business people with access to advanced proprietary technology are particularly likely to be under surveillance. Terrorism is rare in China, although a small number of bombings have occurred throughout the country. Recent bombings have generally been criminally motivated, frequently the result of commercial disputes and job layoffs. The vast majority of these local incidents related to disputes over land seizures, social issues or environmental problems. Some incidents have become large-scale and involved criminal activity, including hostage taking and vandalism. A few instances have been reported of local employees setting off explosives at their places of business after being terminated by their expatriate employers. U.S. employers conducting layoff negotiations should do so at a neutral site and always notify the local law enforcement authorities in advance. Business disputes in China are not always handled through the courts. Recently, incidents have increased of U.S. citizens being kidnapped or detained by workers or hired gangs for the specific purpose of extorting money, sometimes millions of dollars, or intimidated for other gains. In the latter cases, the U.S. citizen is typically threatened with violence and detained at a factory, hotel, or private residence until payment is negotiated and delivered. Sometimes the U.S. citizen is physically assaulted or abducted.
Anyone entering into a contract in China should have it thoroughly examined, both in the United States and in China. Contracts entered into in the United States are not enforced by Chinese courts. Care should also be taken when entering into a lease for an apartment or house. There have been instances of foreigners involved in lease disputes being evicted from their apartments, and then prevented from re-entering, even to retrieve their belongings. http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1089.html#safety