China will study legislation on consular protection for
overseas Chinese, based on the motions and proposals submitted by
the country's lawmakers and political advisors, said Chinese
Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing at a press conference held on the
sidelines of the ongoing annual parliament session on Tuesday. He
also gave his views on other issues and international
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has more than 4,800 staff members
and more than 240 overseas organizations, who are all responsible
for providing consular protection for overseas Chinese directly or
indirectly, Li said.
The number of overseas Chinese is increasing sharply with
China's development, whose lawful rights needs to be protected,
According to statistics, about 675,000 Chinese currently work
overseas, and more than 10,000 Chinese enterprises have set up
businesses in foreign countries.
An increasing number of Chinese also travel, study overseas, or
visit family members. Currently, 132 out of more than 190 countries
have been approved tourism destinations for Chinese citizens. In
2006, Chinese citizens paid 34.52 million visits abroad.
According to an estimation by the World Tourism Council, Chinese
citizens will pay more than 100 million overseas visits in
Li said China has handled more than 30,000 consular cases in the
past year, including the killing of three Chinese company employees
in a terrorist attack in Pakistan, and the kidnapping of Chinese
engineers by militants in Nigeria.
China also evacuated overseas Chinese from the Solomon Islands,
East Timor and Tonga, he said.
"In providing consular protection services, we will follow the
policy of people first and doing diplomatic work in the
interests of the people," he said.
In events of serious cases, Li said the ministry will make
immediate representations and send special representatives or task
forces to the spot to safeguard the lawful rights of Chinese
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(Xinhua News Agency March 6, 2007)