China begins evacuation of 33,000 from Libya
China has started evacuating some 33,000 citizens from Libya, sending its first passenger plane to Tripoli and a fleet of buses to the Egyptian border, DPA reported according to state media.
President Hu Jintao asked government officials to arrange "timely and effective measures" to evacuate the Chinese citizens by bus, ship and plane, the official China Daily and other media said.
The government would send chartered flights, state-owned ships and fishing boats operating near Libya if necessary, the newspaper quoted Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang, the lead official for the evacuation, as saying.
The official Xinhua news agency said the first 83 Chinese citizens arrived in Egypt via the Alsalloum border crossing early Wednesday.
They would be taken to Alexandria to wait for a flight to China, Zhang Zhizhong, an official at the Chinese embassy in Cairo, told the agency.
The embassy said 12 buses had arrived at the border crossing and another 50 buses would be sent to evacuate the "large number of Chinese nationals" stranded nearby.
China Daily quoted Chinese diplomats in Libya as saying that "dozens" of Chinese citizens were injured in the recent violence in Libya, including 15 in hospital.
Most of the Chinese were working in Libya's rail, telecom, construction and oil sectors, the newspaper said.
Armed rioters forced nearly 1,000 Chinese workers to leave their construction camp Sunday afternoon in the eastern city of Agedabia, the reports said.
The workers took refuge in a local school and later tried to walk towards Tripoli, several hundreds kilometres away, the Beijing News reported.
Rioters had attacked several other Chinese-backed sites and had stolen equipment, the reports said.