Sunday, March 06, 2011

Chinese army likely to join more overseas evacuations after Libya mission: PLA generals

The propaganda value of the following images is priceless, worthy of any defense budget increase. (here)

Chinese army likely to join more overseas evacuations after Libya mission: PLA generals

(Source: Xinhua) 2011-03-05

BEIJING, March 4 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese army is likely to participate in more possible evacuations of overseas Chinese should the situation require such an action, People's Liberation Army (PLA) generals told Xinhua Friday.

Luo Yuan, a major general and also a researcher with the PLA Academy of Military Science, said the PLA helping to evacuate overseas Chinese from riot-hit or war-torn countries was likely to reoccur after its first-ever evacuation mission in Libya this week.

"If there's an emergency and there are a huge number of overseas Chinese needing to be evacuated, then it's quite necessary for the army to step in and help the government get them out," said Luo.

The Chinese army, for the first time, dispatched a warship and four military aircraft this week to help the Chinese government ship Chinese back from riot-torn Libya.

Chinese government had pulled all 35,860 Chinese out of Libya by late Wednesday evening Beijing time, and they were either being transported back to China or had already been flown back to the country.

Four Chinese air force's Il-76 transport aircraft landed in Beijing Friday, bringing back 287 evacuees from Libya.

The majority of Chinese nationals on board were employees of Chinese companies with businesses in Libya, according to sources with the air force.

Hao Zhengli, another major general, said the PLA's performance in the evacuation showed the Chinese army's enhanced capacity to respond to conventional and non-conventional security threats and to carry out multiple military tasks.

Hao said, "This has also underscored Chinese army's capacity in long-distance transportation."

The flight course between China and Libya, about 9,500 km across five nations, has set a record for Chinese air force's large transport planes, sources said.

Luo Yuan and Hao Zhengli, both members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, made the above remarks on the sidelines of the ongoing annual session of the CPPCC, the country's top political advisory body.

Editor:Dong Zhaohui

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