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Advice from the Foreign Office (0171-238 4503) on travel within China

Muggings in the main cities, sexual harassment and crimes on trains are increasing, as are thefts on overnight trains and coach journeys. Foreigners are now regular targets.

The Trans-Siberian Railway is noted for smuggling. Search your compartment for contraband before the journey commences, and secure the door.

Areas bordering on Siberia, Pakistan, Vietnam, Laos and Burma are poorly policed. Drug smuggling and related crimes are on the incraese in Yunnan province.

An earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale occurred on 21 January near Kashgar, Xinjiang Province. The quake has caused a great deal of damage and could affect visitors using the Karakorum pass route from Pakistan to Urumqi.

Only Air China, China Southern, China Eastern and Shanghai AIrlines are believed to carry out internationally recognised aircraft maintenance procedures.