The security situation in Xinjiang remains fragile, and conditions locally can deteriorate rapidly at short notice. At least 120 people reportedly died in a series of incidents in the region between April and December 2013. There have been several instances of violent unrest in 2014: 96 people reportedly died in a violent clash with security forces on 28 July in a rural area near the town of Shache (also known as Yarkand) in southern Xinjiang; 50 people reportedly died in a series of explosions and clashes with security forces on 21 September in Luntai (Bugur), central Xinjiang; and 22 people reportedly died in an explosion and violence on 12 October at a farmers’ market in Maralbeshi (Bahcu), Kashgar prefecture. There have been allegations that lethal force has been used to disperse protests.
While outbreaks of ethnic violence remain sporadic, and foreigners are not normally targeted, you should be alert to the possibility of being caught up in any unexpected demonstrations or outbreaks of violence. The Chinese authorities tend to react quickly to these incidents. They will increase the security presence in the area and their response may be heavy-handed. You should remain vigilant, keep up to date with local security advice and media reports and take extra care when travelling in Xinjiang. Avoid becoming involved in any protests and avoid large crowds. Don’t film or photograph any such activities or anything of a military nature.
Anyone entering into a contract in China should take legal advice, both in in their home country and in China. Contracts entered into in the EU are not always enforced by Chinese courts. If you become the subject of a business and/or civil dispute, the Chinese authorities may prohibit you from leaving China until the matter is resolved. Contract fraud is treated as a crime in China and the defendant may also be placed in custody until the dispute is resolved.