Four Britons have been arrested in an eastern China province, the British embassy said Friday, two days after Chinese police announced a drug bust there involving 16 foreigners.

Police in the city of Xuzhou in Jiangsu province said on Wednesday that a total of 19 people were arrested in a drugs case centring on a local branch of a language school.

Those arrested included seven foreign teachers and nine foreign students, police said.

Swiss-based Education First, which operates a chain of language schools in China, released a statement this week acknowledging a suspected drug case at one of its branches in Xuzhou.

Drug convictions can attract long prison sentences in China, or the death penalty in cases of trafficking.