June 4 (UPI) -- The Chinese government on Tuesday warned its citizens in the United States to raise their safety awareness and respond "actively and appropriately" to harassing immigration checks and home interviews.
Beijing's Ministry of Culture and Tourism warned of frequent shootings, robberies and theft.
"Chinese tourists in the U.S. should fully assess the risks of travelling to the U.S, keeping up to date with information about public security, laws and regulations, and conscientiously improve awareness to ensure safety," the travel advisory said.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said U.S. law enforcement had "troubled" Chinese visitors.
"China remains open to normal people-to-people exchanges but such exchanges must be built on the basis of mutual respect," Geng said.
The warning follows reports of delays in getting visas and denials in Chinese student applications. Last year, the number of Chinese visitors declined 5.7 percent, the first decline in 15 years. The United States and China have recently imposed tariffs while trying to work out a trade deal.
The U.S. embassy said every visa decision is a national security decision and every traveler goes through extensive screening.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned China's human rights record Monday and urged Beijing to "release all those held for seeking to exercise these rights and freedoms, halt the use of arbitrary detention, and reverse counterproductive policies that conflate terrorism with religious and political expression."
The Chinese Embassy in the United States said Pompeo spoke "out of prejudice and arrogance," and added, "China's human rights are in the best period ever."