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Safety of Chinese Abroad on Work Agenda

China will take measures to ensure the security of its citizens and institutions abroad, senior Chinese officials said Monday in Beijing.

With more and more Chinese going abroad and a growing number of international terrorist incidents, the risks for Chinese people abroad, ranging from natural disasters to bombings and bloody crimes, are increasing.

All these seriously endanger the personal and property safety of Chinese citizens, said State Councillor Zhou Yongkang at a cabinet conference.

The meeting, also attended by State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan, focused on how to guarantee security of Chinese people and institutions abroad.

Zhou said an emergency mechanism should be established to avoid or lessen incidents that threaten the security of citizens and institutions abroad.

He said every one should strengthen security and protection.

Tang Jiaxuan said Chinese diplomats stationed abroad have done a fairly good job of providing prompt help to Chinese citizens involved in overseas troubles.

But Tang also said the country lags behind in security education and management of citizens abroad as well as in mechanisms to handle security cases related to Chinese citizens.

On July 6, Zhang Qiyue, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the establishment of Department of External Security Affairs.

The department will implement the ministry's principles and policies concerning nontraditional security and coordinate and handle relevant foreign related issues, said Zhang.

(China Daily July 20, 2004)

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