Lijiang, in southwest China’s Yunnan province, has a worsening public safety record that is hurting its image as a popular tourist destination.
One recent incident that raised widespread public concern in the city, which is home to a UNESCO heritage site, involved several female Chinese tourists who were badly beaten by some local men for unknown reasons, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
According to a Weibo post by a woman surnamed Dong on Tuesday, the incident took place last November when she and two friends were dining at a barbecue restaurant in Lijiang, which is famous for its cobblestone streets and snowcapped mountains.
Dong said a company of local men approached their table and one of them hit her in the head with a wine bottle.
Then the men took turns in beating them. She said she ended up with serious body injuries and her face covered with blood.
Before leaving, one of the thugs instructed them to tell the police that their injuries resulted from an accident, such as falling from the staircase, Dong said, adding that the men took away their mobile phones.
Dong also said the restaurant owner did not bother to call the police because he was acquainted with one of the attackers.
A photo attached to the post shows Dong’s disfigured face after medical treatment.
Local police have arrested six of the suspects, the report said.
Dong’s post has spurred intense online discussions, with many netizens assailing local authorities for failing to protect the safety of tourists.
In October 2015, the National Tourism Administration issued a warning against traveling to Lijiang following numerous incidents in which tourists were victimized.
The advisory was withdrawn just last September, or two months before the latest brutal attack on tourists happened.
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