Thu, February 24, 2011
China > China & World > Chinese nationals in Libya evacuated

China sends chartered plane to evacuate nationals from Libya

2011-02-23 10:34:28 GMT2011-02-23 18:34:28(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

China's first chartered plane to evacuate its nationals from Libya is seen in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 23, 2011. China's first chartered plane to evacuate its nationals from Libya left Beijing Wednesday afternoon. Carrying a joint task group of officials from various ministries, the chartered aircraft, an Air China Airbus A330-200, took off at about 5:15 p.m. with food, medicines and other necessities on board. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)

China's first chartered plane to evacuate its nationals from Libya is seen in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 23, 2011. China's first chartered plane to evacuate its nationals from Libya left Beijing Wednesday afternoon. Carrying a joint task group of officials from various ministries, the chartered aircraft, an Air China Airbus A330-200, took off at about 5:15 p.m. with food, medicines and other necessities on board. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)

A joint task group of officials board the chartered plane in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 23, 2011. China's first chartered plane to evacuate its nationals from Libya left Beijing Wednesday afternoon. Carrying a joint task group of officials from various ministries, the chartered aircraft, an Air China Airbus A330-200, took off at about 5:15 p.m. with food, medicines and other necessities on board. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)

Ground crew make preparation for a special charter flight to Libya in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 23, 2011. An A330 airplane, the first charter flight offered by Air China, prepares to take off at any time in Beijing Capital International Airport to bring the trapped Chinese home. (Xinhua/Wang Zemin)

Crew members make preparation before flying to Libya in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 23, 2011. An A330 airplane, the first special charter flight offered by Air China, prepares to take off at any time in Beijing Capital International Airport to bring the trapped Chinese home. (Xinhua/Wang Zemin)

Liu Tiexiang, team leader of the speical charter flight for evacuating Chinese in Lybia, introduce air route to the media in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 23, 2011. An A330 airplane, the first charter flight offered by Air China, prepare to take off at any time in Beijing Capital International Airport to bring the trapped Chinese home. (Xinhua/Wang Zemin)

Crew members prepare food on board for passengers before flying to Libya in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 23, 2011. An A330 airplane, the first charter flight offered by Air China, prepares to take off at any time in Beijing Capital International Airport to bring the trapped Chinese home. (Xinhua/Wang Zemin)

BEIJING, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- China's first chartered plane sent to evacuate its nationals from Libya left Beijing Wednesday afternoon.

Carrying a joint task group of officials from various ministries, the chartered aircraft, an Air China Airbus A330-200, took off at about 5:15 p.m. with food, medicines and other necessities on board.

Song Zhiyong, vice president of China National Aviation Holding Company, told Xinhua that the first plane would have a stopover in Athens before heading to Libya's capital Tripoli, and the second plane was expected to take off early Thursday morning.

Since the unrest erupted in Libya on Feb. 16, people had been attacked and there had been vandalism, looting and arson, and Chinese firms had been attacked and Chinese nationals injured, China's Foreign Ministry said earlier.

Besides the chartered planes, four ocean liners, hired by Chinese embassies in Greece and Malta, were on their way to the waters near Libya, and the Chinese Embassy in Egypt also had hired about one hundred buses to evacuate Chinese nationals from the country, the ministry said.

Greek Minister of Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries Ioannis Diamantidis promised to provide assistance for China's evacuation of nationals from Libya.

During a meeting Wednesday with Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang, also head of an emergency headquarter to organize the evacuation, Diamantidis said the Greek government had ordered its local governments to do their best to cooperate with the Chinese side.

He said the island of Crete, a transfer place for the nationals evacuated from Libya's Benghazi, had the capability to provide accommodation for Chinese nationals.

Zhang extended the Chinese government's gratitude for Greece's assistance.

Seven ships had departed from Greece for Libya to help in the evacuation, according to the Greek minister, saying it would take ten hours for the ships to reach the Crete from Libya's Benghazi.

The majority of Chinese nationals in Libya are employees of Chinese companies with operations in the country.

Early Wednesday, 83 Chinese nationals, working as business staff and construction laborers of the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), were evacuated from Libya to Egypt.

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