Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi answers questions on China's foreign policy and foreign relations at a press conference for the fifth session of the 12th National People's Congress in Beijing, capital of China, March 8, 2017. (Xinhua/Cui Xinyu)
BEIJING, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday said the country's diplomats will offer better consular protection services for Chinese overseas.
Speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual parliamentary session, Wang said the foreign ministry and its overseas missions handled over 100,000 consular protection cases in 2016.
Last year, Chinese diplomats managed to rescue people from both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan who had been held by Somali pirates for almost five years, he said.
They also helped evacuate over 1,000 Chinese from the conflict-torn South Sudan, and transferred more than 1,000 compatriots to safety from earthquakes, fires, or blizzards in New Zealand, Israel and Japan, Wang said.
The foreign minister noted that Chinese mainland residents make over 120 million outbound visits every year.
The number has seen yearly expansions of ten million for six consecutive years, Wang added, while promising to do a better job in consular protection.