Backgrounder: China's major overseas evacuations in recent years

Updated: 2015-03-30 20:53


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BEIJING -- China is withdrawing hundreds of citizens from Yemen with the help of Chinese warships, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Monday.

China has launched a series of massive overseas evacuations for its nationals from countries including Libya, Kyrgyzstan and Solomon over the past few years. The following are some key facts of China's major overseas evacuations.

-- In April 2006, violence erupted in the Solomon Islands' capital Honiara, leaving hundreds of Chinese citizen homeless. The Chinese government evacuated a total of 325 Chinese nationals, including 21 Hong Kong compatriots, safely back home by chartered planes.

-- In April 2006, the demonstrations in East Timor's capital Dili turned violent. About 500 Chinese lived in the country, among whom 246 were moved back to China by two chartered planes.@ -- In July 2006, Israel launched the massive assault on Lebanon. China altogether evacuated 170 citizens, including seven Hong Kong compatriots through the cooperation of the foreign ministry and Chinese embassies to Lebanon, Syria, Cyprus and Israel.

-- In November 2006, riots triggered by a disputed parliamentary reform broke out in the Tongan capital Nuku'alofa. About 30 Chinese-run stores were reportedly looted or burnt. More than 300 Chinese went to the Chinese Embassy and demanded repatriation. China dispatched a chartered aircraft to take children, women and the elderly and ill back to China via Fiji.

-- In January 2008, heavy fighting broke out near the Chadian capital between government soldiers and an allied rebel force. With the help of the Chinese Embassy in Chad, 212 Chinese compatriots, including two from Taiwan, were evacuated to neighboring Cameroon on Feb. 2.

-- In November 2008, up to 3,000 Chinese tourists were stranded in Thailand's capital Bangkok due to anti-government protestors' siege of two Bangkok airports. Chinese aviation authorities arranged a total of 12 flights from the Chinese mainland to fetch the trapped Chinese tourists. On Dec. 3, all stranded Chinese citizens returned from Thailand.

-- In January 2009, a 7.3-magnitude quake hit Haiti. A group of 48 stranded Chinese nationals were sent backed to Beijing along with the Chinese rescue team.

-- In June 2010, a total of 1,299 Chinese nationals were airlifted from riot-hit Kyrgyzstan back to China's Urumqi.

-- In February 2011, the Chinese government organized eight flights to Egypt and brought back a total of 1,848 Chinese including those from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan as protests broke out in Egypt and situation grew severe.

-- In February 2011, bloody unrest erupted in Libya. There were vandalism, looting and arson, with Chinese firms attacked and Chinese nationals injured. China set a prior task to protect its citizens and enterprises stranded in conflict areas and evacuated more than 35,000 Chinese nationals.

Besides, the Chinese government rented large cruise liners, cargo ships and fishing boats to bring back its overseas workers under the protection of a naval vessel. Meanwhile, planes and buses were also used to transport evacuees. China as well helped evacuate 2,100 people of 12 countries from Libya. The move was noted as the largest evacuation of overseas Chinese nationals since 1949.

-- In May 2014, China pulled back its 3,500 nationals affected by the violence in Vietnam.

-- In June 2014, more than 1,200 Chinese workers trapped in the northern Iraqi city of Samarra were safely evacuated to the capital Baghdad as sectarian violence grew in Iraq.