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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

China needs to improve overseas security as it goes global

By Zhou Ren Jie (People's Daily)

16:34, February 15, 2012

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

On the afternoon of Feb. 9, the 29 compatriots, who had been kidnapped for more than 10 days, arrived at the Beijing Capital International Airport. This successful overseas rescue showed the "China strength" once again.

From the Chinese navy's "convey in the Gulf of Aden" against pirates, to the "great withdrawal from Libya", which is regarded as the largest withdrawal since the Cold War, and to being the first country which withdrew its civilians in a large scale from Japan's area afflicted severely by the earthquake and tsunami, China has established an overseas security mechanism involving the central government, local governments, Chinese embassies and Chinese enterprises, giving the Chinese national overseas a strong backing. Since 2008, China has withdrawn more than 50,000 Chinese citizens from various emergencies that occurred in foreign countries.

However, China's "overseas security" still needs to further keep up with its "Going Global" pace. In the year of 2010, the total number of Chinese citizens exiting China was more than 60 million. By the year, the total number of Chinese enterprises operating in foreign countries had exceeded 16,000. After going abroad, they will face a completely different and complicated world. Furthermore, the destinations where Chinese labors are sent are usually countries and regions with fierce national and religious conflicts, frequent political and military turbulences and severe natural disasters.

Statistics from the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also show that in 2011 alone, relevant departments handled a total of approximately 30,000 consular protection cases. From the Chinese crew being shot on the Mekong River, to the engineers abducted in Afghanistan, frequent overseas security incidents cried out for overseas security efforts to be carried out before the event instead of afterwards.

However, some companies did not exert full play to their own advantages, nor did they carry out sufficient assessment on safety risks during the project investigation period. The safety education and safety protection work for the large group of labor dispatch workers are also utterly inadequate. In the face of the citizens' overseas security needs, the government especially needs to take the lead to weave a people-oriented, mutually beneficial, win-win "safety net".

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