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 on Tuesday.
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 at a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing annual parliament session.
The number of overseas Chinese is increasing sharply with China 's development, whose lawful rights needs to be protected, said Li.
According to statistics, about 675,000 Chinese current 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 the evaluation made by the World Tourism Council, Chinese citizens will pay more than 100 million overseas visits in 2020.
(Xinhua News Agency March 6, 2007)