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Security Mechanisms Set to Protect Overseas Workers
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China said on Monday it would set up security alerts and emergency-handling mechanisms to safeguard overseas Chinese workers.

China will also enhance international security cooperation and increase security spending to protect its overseas workers against terrorist attacks, conflicts, natural disasters, and other threats, said a conference jointly held by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and the Ministry of Foreign affairs.

The country had invested US$73.3 billion overseas and had 670,000 overseas workers at the end of 2006, the MOFCOM said and added that China's direct overseas investment reached US$16.1 billion in 2006, up 31 percent year on year.

In three years, China will complete an education campaign to provide security training for 2,000 officials from 1,000 enterprises, said Commerce Minister Bo Xilai.

The Chinese government will instruct firms with overseas projects to assume their social responsibilities, take part in local public welfare development, fit in with the local culture and protect the local environment, he said.

China will encourage these enterprises to share benefits with the host country, for example by expanding local employment through outsourcing, Bo said.

Last month, a group of gunmen attacked a Chinese oil company site in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia, killing nine Chinese workers and kidnapping seven others.

China responded by vowing to step up security evaluations for overseas Chinese, according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao.

However, China will not change its policy of encouraging its firms to cooperate with all countries, including those in Africa, on the basis of equality and mutual benefits, said Liu.

(Xinhua News Agency May 15, 2007)

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