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Economic zone shelters Chinese, foreigners in Egypt amid turmoil


20:31, July 05, 2013

TIANJIN, July 5 (Xinhua) -- A China-Egypt economic cooperation zone in Egypt has prepared emergency supplies, escape plans and even sought support from military troops to ensure people's safety amid recent turmoil.

Drawing lessons from unrest that occurred in 2011, the China-Egypt Suez Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone has stored diesel oil, petrol, drinking water and satellite phones, said Liu Aimin, general manager of China-Africa TEDA Investment Co., Ltd., a major investor in the zone.

Liu said the zone also includes an escape route for Chinese employees, adding that the Egyptian military has promised to protect the zone if the situation worsens.

Judge Adli Mansour was sworn in Thursday as Egypt's caretaker president, one day after Mohamed Morsi was removed from the presidency by the military. Hundreds of people, including civilians, have been killed or injured in the unrest that has resulted from the transition.

Liu said zone authorities started taking precautious after being warned of the turmoil several days ago by the Chinese Embassy in Egypt.

A patrol team has been established in the zone, providing around-the-clock patrol services, he said.

"Although their business has been affected, enterprises in the zone are currently stable," he said.

Established in 2008, the zone is a state-level overseas economic and trade cooperation zone approved by the Chinese government. It is one of several trade and economic cooperation zones that China promised to build in Africa during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held in Beijing in 2006.

Liu said he doesn't think the unrest will severely affect the zone's operation, as it plays an important role in securing jobs and promoting progress in Egypt.

"The zone has played a leading role in Egypt's economic and social progress. We will continue to make efforts to protect Chinese enterprises there," he said.

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