Hotline helps nationals overseas

Updated: 2014-09-03 01:33

By ZHANG YUNBI(China Daily)

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs elaborated on the how and why of using the 12308 hotline, which is operated by the ministry's global consular protection and service emergency calling center.

Q: What are the major functions of the 12308 hotline's calling center?

A: The main purpose of the hotline is to handle emergencies, while regular consultations about consular services are also taken care of.

• It offers emergency management guidance and consultation for people with urgent needs, and, if necessary, it will coordinate with Chinese embassies or consulates for follow-ups.

• It provides introductions to the procedure of processing consular cases and gives suggestions.

• It serves as a special hotline in the event of a major consular case, and it conducts consultations for callers from all walks of life.

Q: What are the suggestions for dialing up the calling center?

A: After getting connected to the hotline, you can dial 0 and then 9 for direct one-on-one service in case your safety is being threatened.

• For non-emergency cases, we suggest you use the automatic voice consultations of the hotline, the website of China Consular Service and the web pages of China's embassies and consulates.

• The key to risk management and loss control lies in prevention and precaution. Chinese citizens are advised to get a full understanding of the destination country from sources including the official WeChat account of the center and websites of Chinese embassies and consulates abroad.

• In the event of an emergency abroad, please fully use resources including local police and law enforcement to get help and minimize your loss. Please put evidence and materials in good hands. The Chinese consular staff will help you at their greatest capacity.

Q: What is on the agenda for future development of the calling center?

A: The second stage of the center's development will focus on boosting information integration, online applications and other relevant services.

• Multimedia access (to the calling system), including WeChat and e-mail, will be introduced.

• A further integration of the website and the WeChat account will be realized.

• An online translation service will be introduced and tried for higher efficiency and improved convenience when serving Chinese citizens.

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