Safety and Security in China
In general, China is a safe country. Violent crimes aren’t common, but fraud, drug trafficking, corruption, pickpocket and other non-violent crimes do exist. Close your bag while out, be aware of your surroundings and wear you bag in front of you while in crowded places. Also, if you see numbers or characters written randomly by your apartment, call the police – this might be a sign of someone trying to break in your house.
■ Emergency services
Emergency number for English-speakers: 110
Other emergency numbers (in Chinese):
Every student must get a health insurance which will cover basic medical care at local hospitals. You can buy it directly from the university admission office. It costs about RMB300 per six months.
List of English speaking hospitals can be found here: http://www.china.org.cn/english/health/185370.htm
■ Political situation
China is a single-party socialist republic. The only party in China is the Communist Party. The party has been ruling the country since 1949. Opposition isn’t tolerated. The country’s military budget for 2014 is US$131.57 billion.
■ Short trip
It is very simple to travel in China. Trains tickets can be bought online (https://kyfw.12306.cn/otn/) and there are websites for finding cheap flights (www.qunar.com – unfortunately, only in Chinese). Places we highly recommend you visiting are The Great Wall and the Jiuzhaigou Valley, near Chengdu. Since the country has a very large territory, you might travel to places close to where you are living, so search online to find the best spots close to you.
If you like tall towers, don’t miss the Canton Tower in Guangzhou and the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai.
■ Mobile phone networks
The largest mobile provider company is Chinese. Its name is China Mobile. The fourth largest one is also Chinese – China Unicom, and the tenth largest provider is also Chinese – China Telecom. A new cell phone will cost less than RMB1800 and plans rage from RMB58 to RMB888, depending on the company and plan conditions. Chinese mobile providers use mainly 3G networks. The quality is pretty good in the big cities, but it doesn’t work while traveling by bullet trains.