Vice Foreign Minister Xie Hangsheng Talks About China's Consular Protection
On March 10, 2012, Vice Foreign Minister Xie Hangsheng accepted an exclusive interview with Xinhua News Agency and answered the questions concerning consular protection of overseas Chinese citizens and institutions.
Xie said CPC Central Committee and the State Council attach great importance to the work of consular protection. The legitimate rights and interests of overseas Chinese citizens and institutions not only matter individuals and institutions, but also constitute an important part of the national interests. Protecting their safety and interests is one of the basic duties the government should undertake. It is also the best embodiment of the people-centric concept and the concept of governing for the people.
Xie said since 2007, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with relevant departments, local governments and enterprises, have guided the embassies and consulates in properly handling over 160,000 consular protection cases of various kinds concerning overseas Chinese citizens and institutions, which involved nearly one million Chinese citizens. Further improving emergency response mechanism with sound coordination at the central, local and corporate levels and with China's embassies and consulates, increasing risk warning, and intensifying awareness-raising, training and other preventive measures have effectively lifted the level of China's consular protection work.
Xie stressed that the number of overseas Chinese citizens and institutions is growing, but overseas security risks are also growing increasingly diverse and the security situation is more severe. He called on the overseas Chinese citizens and institutions to improve risk awareness and self-protection ability, pay attention to overseas security situation, take concrete preventive measures and avoid loss and accidents to the best extent possible.
Xie concluded by saying that the consular protection work received the attention and support from different communities, for which he expressed his gratitude. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to collaborate with the relevant parties to provide the public with more timely and comprehensive security information and more concrete and effective consular protection measures so as to effectively maintain the safety of overseas Chinese citizens and institutions and their legitimate rights and interests.