The Ministry of Commerce expressed great concern Monday over a robbery of the
Chinese Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, on Saturday.
Four gunmen robbed the commercial department of the embassy. The men broke
through the main gate with guns in hand, tied up embassy staff and threatened to
kill a diplomat, according to Gu Naiyi, a staff member with the department.
away after stealing both embassy and personal belongings. The department has
resumed operations and the case is under investigation.
The ministry urged the department to tighten security measures to ensure the
safety of its staff.
Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing yesterday also urged Venezuela Government to
take concrete measures to protect Chinese and their properties.
In another development, the president of a group representing oil companies
in Ecuador on Sunday (local time) criticized the takeover of a Chinese
consortium's pumping facilities by local people.
The president of the Hydrocarbon Company Association of Ecuador, Rene Ortiz,
said in a statement on Sunday that international companies have been
"blackmailed" by indigenous communities.
The complaint came a day after 300 protesters ended a three-day seizure of
Chinese consortium Andes Petroleum to demand more job opportunities for their
More than 40 Ecuadorean employees were taken hostage, but they have all been
released unharmed, according to an informed source from China National Petroleum
Corporation, which leads the consortium.
Protesters in Ecuador's Amazon region seized the oil installations of Andes
Petroleum in Tarapoa, a jungle city 240 kilometres from capital Quito, taking
more than 40 workers hostage and slashing its crude output from 42,000 barrels
per day to 14,000, the company said on Friday.
The company said that the accident interrupted its normal production and
caused big losses.
"Our installations in Tarapoa are completely under the control of
protesters," the company said in a Friday statement.
The company refused to negotiate with protesters under such pressure, holding
leaders responsible for the illegal activities, the statement said.
The Fourth Division of the Ecuadorean Army had been mobilized to help clear
out the protesters.
Ecuador's powerful indigenous movement has often targeted large oil
companies, demanding jobs for local communities.