Crime is relatively low in China. The Chinese government simply does not put up with it. Prison sentences are long, and the prisons are harsh. This does not allow for repeat offenders. Visitors should feel, and in actuality be, safer on the streets of China than almost any other country in the world. Certainly travellers have more reason for concern in in U.S. and European cities. This is a fact.
This is not to say that common sense and an awareness of your surroundings is not of importance. Travelling or walking in pairs, especially in the evening and in less busy streets is always recommended. There is safety in numbers.
As a traveller, you are subject to the laws of the country. The judicial system is slow and the penalties much more severe than your home country. Arrest, incarceration, or expulsion can occur. In addition, China does practice Capital Punishment. So, while you are there behave and be good!
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