Legislators applaud evacuation efforts

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China's unprecedented move to evacuate over 35,000 of its nationals from Libya has been applauded at home as "a demonstration of the government's care for the people" and "a symbol of rising national strength."

National legislators in Beijing for the upcoming annual parliamentary session said Thursday the government's evacuation endeavor, the largest ever since 1949, had been "prompt, efficient and successful."

They also agreed that the Libya case again highlighted the significance of social stability as "no one could prosper without peace and stability."

"This has demonstrated the spirit of government's people-first policy and the greatness of socialism with Chinese characteristics," said Prof. Zhou Guangquan with Tsinghua University.

Zhou, also a National People's Congress (NPC) deputy, said he was impressed by the government's efforts to mobilize all possible resources within less than ten days to bring the people home successfully.

Vice Chinese Foreign Minister Song Tao said a total of 35,860 Chinese citizens had been evacuated from riot-torn Libya as of 11:10 p.m. Wednesday Beijing Time, the largest and the most complicated overseas evacuation ever conducted by the government since the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949.

This means all Chinese who desired to go home and whose whereabouts were known by the foreign ministry have been evacuated from the North African nation, said Song.

Chartered airplanes and ocean liners, buses, and even navy and air forces of China were sent to Libya to evacuate the stranded Chinese, including those from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

Chen Zhonglin, a NPC deputy and the dean of Chongqing University's school of law, said the cost of the action would be huge.

"However, this showed the government highly values the interests of the people and I totally support such an action," said Chen.

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