Foreign and Military Affairs

China vows to protect citizens in Libya

Updated: 2011-02-22 16:50
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BEIJING - China said Tuesday that it was very concerned about the current situation in Libya, vowing to protect its nationals and firms in the country.

"China hopes the country can restore social stability and political order as soon as possible," said Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ma Zhaoxu at a regular news briefing.

Since the unrest erupted in Libya on Feb 16, people have been attacked and there has been vandalism, looting and arson, said Ma, adding that Chinese firms had been attacked and Chinese nationals injured.

Latest reports said a construction site run by Huafeng Construction Co, Ltd. from China's Zhejiang Province was looted by a group of armed gangsters Sunday afternoon in the eastern city of Agedabia, and nearly 1,000 Chinese workers there were forced from their on site living quarters and had become homeless.

"The Chinese government attaches great importance to the situation and has instructed the Chinese Embassy in Libya to take every necessary measure to ensure the safety of the Chinese nationals and organizations in Libya," said Ma.

The spokesman said the Foreign Ministry had launched the emergency mechanism and lodged emergency representations with the Libyan side demanding an immediate probe into the attacks and punishment against the perpetrators.

Ma said the Chinese Embassy in Libya had established contact with all Chinese firms in Libya and was working with relevant departments at home to safeguard national interests and protect the safety of Chinese nationals and property.

On Monday, China's Ministry of Commerce urged Chinese businesses in Libya to pay increased attention to their security and suggested Chinese businessmen planning to visit Libya postpone their plans for the time being.