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Home >> China
UPDATED: 19:40, November 23, 2006
Chartered plane to fetch Chinese nationals from Tonga islands arrives in E.China
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A chartered aircraft which brought back 193 Chinese nationals from the Pacific island nation of Tonga arrived in Xiamen City in East China's Fujian province on Thursday afternoon.

A working group from the Chinese Freign Ministry which had been sent to Tonga with food and daily necessities for local Chinese and to investigate their situation was also on board.

Relevant local departments have fully prepared for proper arrangements of Chinese nationals from Tonga.

The Chinese nationals expressed deep gratefulness to the government for helping them go back home after arrival in Xiamen.

The Chinese government had dispatched a chartered aircraft Wednesday to take children, women and the elderly and ill back to China via Fiji.

Riots triggered by a disputed parliamentary reform broke out in the Tongan capital Nuku'alofa last Thursday, leaving eight dead and 80 percent of the central business district destroyed.

Earlier reports said about 30 Chinese-run stores were looted or burnt.

More than 300 Chinese, most children, women and old people went to the Chinese embassy and demanded repatriation as soon as possible.

China and Tonga established diplomatic relations in November 1998. About 500 Chinese people are estimated to be living in Nuku'alofa.

Source: Xinhua

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