Q: It’s been reported that an attack on a gold mining site in the Central African Republic has killed and injured several Chinese nationals. Do you have any details on what happened? How’s the current security situation there?
A: On March 19 Beijing time, an armed attack on a Chinese private company in the Central African Republic killed nine and severely injured two others — all Chinese nationals. General Secretary Xi Jinping has given it his full attention and personally instructed that every effort be made to save the lives of the injured, make timely and proper arrangements for dealing with the aftermath of the attack, make sure that the perpetrators are brought to justice and ensure the safety of Chinese nationals.
The Foreign Ministry sprang to action upon General Secretary Xi’s instruction. We immediately activated the consular emergency response mechanism and put teams on duty around the clock. A diplomatic representation has been made to the Embassy of the Central African Republic in China. Our ambassador to the Central African Republic has raised the incident with the Central African Republic side, urging them to act. A working group from the embassy has rushed to the site to coordinate the response to the attack.
Some countries in Africa and elsewhere are currently facing high security risks. The entire Central African Republic, with the exception of its capital Bangui, is rated red (meaning extremely high) in terms of security risks. Over the past few months, the foreign ministry has issued several security alerts and urged Chinese nationals and companies to leave high-risk areas as quickly as possible and keep themselves safe. Once again, we strongly urge our fellow Chinese who are currently abroad to make sure to stay informed of the latest security alerts from the foreign ministry and take these alerts very seriously, and stop visiting high-risk areas. Those who are already in those areas need to leave at once. The foreign ministry will continue to work closely with other government agencies concerned and subnational governments to do everything possible to protect the safety and security of Chinese nationals and companies in Africa, including directing our embassies and consulates overseas to take further effective steps in this regard.