- Associated Press - Friday, July 29, 2016

BEIJING (AP) - China issued a safety warning Friday to Chinese visiting Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics following a spate of thefts and armed robberies committed against its athletes, officials, members of the media and others.

The Foreign Ministry said visitors should avoid dangerous areas of the city, leave their luxury watches at home and not carry backpacks or talk on mobile phones while walking in the street.

It advised that in the event of a robbery, people stay calm and avoid arguing with the perpetrators.

“The Foreign Ministry’s consular affairs department and embassy in Brazil remind Chinese citizens traveling to Brazil to increase their safety awareness and strengthen measures to protect their safety,” the ministry notice said.

China’s delegation of athletes and officials in Rio numbers 711 people; the largest for the nation aside from 2008 when it hosted in Beijing.

Murders in Rio rose sharply in the first half of 2016, just as officials wanted to use the Aug. 5-21 Olympic Games to showcase the city as a tourist destination. Shootouts erupt daily, while terrorism has also risen as a concern after the federal police arrested 10 Brazilians allegedly belonging to an amateur cell that had professed allegiance to ISIS over the internet.

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