China continues to evacuate nationals from Libya
Updated: 2011-03-01 21:44
By Fu Jing (chinadaily.com.cn)
The Mediterranean Sea - Whistling, cheering, waving hands with tears flowing and shouting: crowds of Chinese evacuees climb up to the deck of the Greek ship to show their national pride in every way possible when Chinese frigate Xuzhou approaches.
The huge Greek vessel Venizelos, containing about 2,200 Chinese evacuees from Libya, and the frigate whistle to each other for a few minutes. They also raise their respective flags up and down to show respect.
Kyriakopoolos was on duty last night when the ship left Libyan port Misurata and thus today it is his turn to sleep. But he springs from his bed after hearing the Chinese frigate approach. He joined the Chinese, cheering and waving to the Chinese helicopter when it flew over.
"We salute the Chinese frigate in the same way we would a Greek warship," says Kyriakopoolos.
After the ship and frigate greet each other, they sail side-by-side for an hour and a half only three hundreds meters apart. A Chinese helicopter hovers over the two vessels.
The frigate Xuzhou, which had been conducting anti-piracy escort missions in the Aden Gulf, joined the evacuation efforts in the waters surrounding Libya.
Wei Jianhua, captain of the Chinese frigate, sends his warm greetings over the radio, thanking Greek crews for their help and support in the removing of Chinese nationals from riot-torn Libya.
Wei also welcomes his fellow Chinese on board on their way back home. "The strong and prosperous motherland is with you when you are experiencing hardship," Wei greets passengers on board the frigate.
On hearing this, a group of evacuees unfold a Chinese flag, and, cheering and shouting, they wave their hands toward the frigate. “Yes, we feel that we are from a big family and when we meet troubles overseas, we can get help any time,” says the 40-aged Cui Qinghua.
Cui, from Hubei province, was working in construction together with 300 fellow colleagues in the central part of Libya. They planned to evacuate Libya as soon as events became chaotic on Feb 16. But Local wrongdoers robbed them and prevented them from fleeing.
However, the Chinese embassy tried every means to evacuate them. "Finally we succeeded after rounds of negotiations with locals, and now here we are," says Cui.
Cui and other evacuees are halfway to Crete in Greece. More than two-thirds of the Chinese in Libya have already been moved to safety. And in the Libyan port city Misurata, all of the Chinese have already been evacuated.
This is the second time the Greek ship has evacuated Chinese. And in total, the Chinese government has sent at least seven chartered ships from Crete to transport Chinese nationals from Libya since last week.
Now more than 10,000 Chinese are settled in Crete and they are all expected to take flights back to China by 10th March.
Chinese are learning English on a scale never seen before and the business of teaching is booming.
Prince William and Kate Middleton returned to the place where they met and fell in love.
Zhejiang Province charts plans to lease coastal islands for private investments
An automobile mechanic in Northeast China made a test flight of his self-made aircraft which cost about US$395.