People of different nationalities evacuated from Sudan by the People's Liberation Army Navy arrive at Jeddah Islamic Port, Saudi Arabia, on April 29, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
The Chinese navy has completed evacuating Chinese people from conflict-torn Sudan, with 940 Chinese citizens departing from the area from Wednesday to Saturday in two groups, according to the Defense Ministry.
At the request of some countries, China also evacuated a total of 231 foreign residents together with Chinese nationals.
With the help of Chinese embassies and consulates in relevant countries, those evacuees were transferred from Port Sudan to the port of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia by CNS Nanning and CNS Weishan Lake, Tan Kefei, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, said late on Saturday
With the help of Chinese embassies and consulates in relevant countries, those people were transferred from Port Sudan to the port of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia by CNS Nanning and CNS Weishan Lake, Tan Kefei, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, said late on Saturday.
"The Chinese military will always be the guardian of the people and a staunch force in safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests, and serving the building of a community with a shared future for mankind," he said.
On Saturday morning, CNS Nanning and CNS Weishan Lake, which carried 493 evacuees from Sudan — 272 Chinese citizens and 221 foreign nationals — arrived at the port of Jeddah, successfully completing the second group of personnel evacuation.The first group of 678 evacuees, 668 Chinese and 10 foreigners, were evacuated by the same two ships on Thursday, according to the Chinese military.
Pakistani Ambassador to China Moin ul Haque on Sunday expressed appreciation to China for helping more than 200 Pakistani nationals evacuate from Sudan.
During a meeting with Liu Jinsong, director-general of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Foreign Ministry, Haque said that China's assistance demonstrated once again how strong Pakistan-China friendship is.
Liu said that as China tried its best to ensure that Chinese nationals were evacuated from Sudan in a safe manner, it also helped some people from other friendly countries including Pakistan to leave the African country, which demonstrated the iron-clad friendship between China and Pakistan as well as its responsibility as a major country.
At 10 am on Saturday Beijing time, the first temporary flight to pick up evacuated Chinese citizens from Jeddah arrived at Beijing Capital International Airport, carrying about 340 evacuated Chinese, according to official data.
READ MORE: Sudan evacuation a story of 'strong motherland, strong backing'
A boy waits to enter the customs at the Beijing Capital International Airport on April 29, 2023 with his family. They are among the Chinese nationals evacuated from Sudan. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
Ma Dongpeng, 35, was evacuated along with his wife and two daughters. "When I got off the ship, I was very excited to hear the familiar song My People, My Country and see Chinese compatriots greet us at the port," he was quoted by People's Daily as saying. "I could not hold back my tears while seeing the Chinese national flag fly high."
Ma said his family haven't been back to China for five years, and his 5-year-old daughter has been growing up in Sudan. Thanks to the efficient coordination and help of the Chinese government, they could finally go home at such a difficult time.
"We feel the warmth and strength of China's five-star red flag and feel the strength of the motherland. We are so proud!"
As the security situation in the African country continued to deteriorate in recent days, the Chinese Foreign Ministry and diplomatic missions in Sudan and neighboring countries have worked hard to create conditions for the safe evacuation of Chinese citizens in Sudan to border ports or neighboring countries in an orderly and safe manner, according to the ministry.
So far, most Chinese citizens have been safely evacuated. The Chinese embassy in Sudan will provide all necessary assistance to the small number of Chinese citizens still in the country, according to the ministry.
With the assistance of the Chinese consulate-general in Jeddah, Wang Peng, a young man from Hunan province, successfully completed the procedures for entering Saudi Arabia on Saturday.
Wang had worked with his colleagues in Sudan for many years, but did not expect to encounter an armed conflict. "After the armed conflict broke out, everyone immediately hid in the basement, and we could still hear the sound of whistling missiles," he recalled.
Thanks to the great efforts of local embassy staff, the journey of around 800 kilometers was smooth from the Sudanese capital of Khartoum to the port where he boarded a Chinese ship.
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"During the 14-hour journey, we passed through multiple conflict zones and over a dozen checkpoints, but everything went smoothly. This could not have been achieved without the advance coordination and arrangements by the staff of the embassy," he was quoted as saying by People's Daily.
Netizens at home and abroad also took to social media platforms to praise China's timely and orderly evacuation measures.
Many praised China for giving priority to protecting the lives of its own citizens. "The motherland will never abandon any of its compatriots under any circumstances," said a post on Weibo which received tens of thousands of likes.
Cao Desheng contributed to this story.