China pulls workers from Syria, seeks Libya compensation

March 7, 2012 15:44

BEIJING - China is bringing workers home from Syria, its commerce minister said on Wednesday, in an apparent attempt to avoid a repeat of last year's eleventh-hour rescue of Chinese nationals from Libya when violence engulfed that country.

Only about 100 Chinese workers will be left behind to guard work camps and equipment, the minister, Chen Deming, said. He did not give figures for the total number of Chinese citizens or projects in Syria.

"The Chinese government and ministries must seriously undertake the protection of Chinese firms' production and projects overseas, and the protection of the lives of Chinese citizens overseas, especially engineering teams," Chen told reporters.

China sent an envoy to Damascus this week, even as closed-door meetings were held at the United Nations to discuss a US-drafted resolution urging an end to the Syrian government's increasingly lethal crackdown on a year-long revolt.

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