The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced a mobile application on Sept 26 which will provide consular services to citizens overseas just ahead of the National Day holiday which will witness a peak in the number of Chinese tourists traveling abroad.
The app, waijiaobu12308, is the ministry’s latest online consular service. It had already launched a wechat account, lingshizhitongche, and a weibo account, lingshizhisheng, for the same purpose.
Like the two official accounts, the mobile app issues safety travel alerts and updates concerning major emergencies involving Chinese citizens abroad, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a daily news conference.
It also issues important information, including on visas and other consular documents, Geng said.
The app allows people to call 12308, the hotline for emergency security services for Chinese citizens, through the internet, so people don’t have to pay extra for making international phone calls, Geng said.
This will make it easier for Chinese citizens running into difficulties abroad to obtain consular protection and services from the ministry, embassies and consulates at the earliest time, the spokesman added.
“We welcome Chinese compatriots to download and use the mobile app, and hope you will give us your feedback. We will keep improving the functions and contents of the app,” Geng said.
The spokesman reminded people who are traveling abroad during the week-long National Day holiday starting on Oct 1 to watch out for their safety, behave in an appropriate manner, obey local laws and customs and protect the environment.
State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced the ministry would launch the app in a news conference on the sidelines of the First Session of the 13th National People’s Congress in March.