BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese police have warned luxury hotels that Islamic extremists may be planning attacks in the coming week, the U.S. embassy said on Wednesday.
Chinese authorities told the embassy they were taking appropriate security measures and investigating the possible threat, the embassy said in an email message 10 days before U.S. President George W. Bush visits Beijing.
"The embassy has learned that Chinese police advised hotels that Islamic extremist elements could be planning to attack four- and five-star hotels in China some time over the course of the next week," it said.
"American citizens visiting Chinese four- and five-star hotels should review their plans carefully, remain vigilant with regard to their personal security, and exercise caution."
The embassy warning did not say if the extremists it referred to were from China or abroad.
Many people in the mostly-Muslim western Chinese territory of Xinjiang, which borders several central Asian states, including Afghanistan, seek independence for the region and complain of inequities under Chinese rule.
Uighurs agitating to create an independent state of East Turkestan have been accused of violence in the past, including a string of bombings and riots in Xinjiang since the 1980s.
The Public Security Ministry said in September that more than 220 "terrorist" acts had been committed in Xinjiang in the past two decades, killing 160 people and wounding 440.
Beijing has waged a relentless campaign against ethnic Uighur militants, and the government said in October it had arrested 19 foreigners on terrorism charges in Xinjiang.
Rights groups and other critics say China has been using its support for the U.S.-led war on terror to justify a wider crackdown on Uighurs characterized by arbitrary arrests, closed trials and the use of the death penalty.
Bush is scheduled to visit China from November 19-21.