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China withdrawing citizens from Yemen

Updated: Mar 30,2015 11:00 PM     Xinhua

China is withdrawing hundreds of citizens from Yemen with the help of Chinese warships, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on March 30.

Hua told a daily press briefing that China has already moved 122 citizens from Yemen to Djibouti, an African country located across the strait in the Gulf of Aden from Yemen. She said the Chinese Embassy in Djibouti is offering necessary assistance for Chinese nationals to return to China as soon as possible.

The Chinese government on March 29 redirected navy vessels performing anti-pirate missions in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters to Yemen to evacuate Chinese citizens.

“Chinese Ambassador Tian Qi and a necessary number of embassy staff are now holding their posts in Yemen,” Hua said.

“They have maintained close communication with all relevant parties and made all-out efforts to help the remaining 400-plus people (in Yemen) withdraw safely and in good order,” Hua said.

Hua said the Chinese government places great importance on the safety of Chinese citizens and entities in Yemen. She said the government has wasted no time withdrawing Chinese citizens since the security situation in Yemen abruptly deteriorated on March 26.

Yemen is currently suffering from political unrest and clashes between Houthi rebels and forces loyal to Yemeni President Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who has fled the country.

A Saudi-led coalition, which launched airstrikes on Houthi positions in Yemen starting March 26, continued to drop bombs on key military targets on March 29.

Hua also thanked Yemen, Djibouti and other parties for offering help in the withdrawal of Chinese nationals.