Updated Jun 4, 2019

"Frequent shootings": China warns citizens against travel to U.S.

Beijing's Capital International Airport. Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued a travel advisory, warning citizens against traveling to the U.S., effective until Dec. 31, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday.

What they're saying: "Noting the frequent occurrence of shootings, robberies and theft in the United States recently, the ministry warned Chinese tourists to fully assess the risks of traveling there," the news agency said.

Why it matters: China issued a similar travel advisory last year, but the latest one comes amid heightened trade tensions that show no sign of abating. In a separate advisory Tuesday, China warned Chinese firms operating in the U.S. they could face harassment from American law enforcement agencies, Reuters reports.

Context: Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in Beijing that difficulties Chinese citizens were facing in the U.S. was a key consideration of the latest alert, according to Bloomberg. Asked by reporters if the trade dispute was a factor, he said it was a response to "current circumstances," per Bloomberg.

The big picture: The U.S. and China have spent the past week blaming each other for the stalling of trade negotiations. On Sunday, China issued a "white paper" on the U.S.-China trade war in which it blamed the U.S. for negotiation setbacks in the talks, per Reuters.

  • The U.S. Trade Representative's (USTR) office and the U.S. Treasury said in a joint statement Monday China had "back-pedalled" on key aspects of a deal that had largely been agreed to. Shuang told reporters in response the U.S. was "singing the same old tune," according to Reuters.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday at a Likud Party faction meeting at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, that his July 1 deadline for starting the process of annexation in the West Bank will not change, according to people in attendance.

Why it matters: The White House and the State Department have stressed over the last few weeks that the deadline set by Netanyahu is "not sacred" to the Trump administration — and that any discussion of annexation needs to be in the context of renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

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President Trump on stage during the 2016 Republican National Convention in Ohio. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

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The state of play: Mandy Cohen, the state's health and human services secretary, said last week that the GOP should "plan for the worst" as mass gatherings will be a "very big challenge" if the number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to increase, per NPR.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We usually think of Memorial Day as the start of the summer, with all of the fun and relaxation that goes with it — but this one is just going to remind us of all of the plans that have been ruined by the coronavirus.

Why it matters: If you thought it was stressful to be locked down during the spring, just wait until everyone realizes that all the traditional summer activities we've been looking forward to are largely off-limits this year.