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China says suffers “large-scale” economic losses in Libya

It also said 36,000 Chinese citizens lived in the country and 75 Chinese companies had operations in Libya.


February 24, 2011 4:10 by

China has suffered severe economic losses as a result of the political turmoil in Libya, it said on Thursday.

China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on its website ( that as of Wednesday, 27 Chinese construction sites and camps in Libya had been “attacked and looted” amid unrest in the country after Muammar Gaddafi used the military to crack down on public revolt against his 41-year rule.

“China has suffered large-scale direct economic losses in Libya, including looted worksites, burned and destroyed vehicles and tools, smashed office equipment and stolen cash,” the statement said.

The ministry did not give a monetary value for the losses, but said there were few injuries and no deaths reported.

It also said 36,000 Chinese citizens lived in the country and 75 Chinese companies had operations in Libya.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said China would continue to work on the ground to protect the country’s interests.

“Relevant agencies and officials posted abroad will continue to coordinate and make every possible effort at every possible moment to … protect the lives and property of Chinese citizens and preserve China’s national interests,” he told reporters on during a regular press briefing.

China, reluctant to criticise authoritarian governments in the developing world, has called for a return to stability in Libya, and said it will “spare no efforts” in evacuating its citizens.

Chinese embassies in the region were arranging evacuation efforts by air, sea and land, Ma said, with more than 4,600 Chinese nationals already back in China or sent to “safer third countries.”

(Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)


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