Beijing: China has pressed warships deployed for anti-piracy operations into service to evacuate hundreds of its citizens from conflict-ridden Yemen.
China has already moved 122 citizens from Yemen to Djibouti, an African country located across the strait in the Gulf of Aden from Yemen, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying?said today.
She said the Chinese Embassy in Djibouti is offering necessary assistance to Chinese nationals to return them as soon as possible.
The Chinese government yesterday redirected navy vessels performing anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters to Yemen to evacuate its nationals.
"Chinese Ambassador Tian Qi and a necessary number of embassy staff are now holding their posts in Yemen," Hua said.
"They have maintained close communication with all relevant parties and made all-out efforts to help the remaining 400-plus people (in Yemen) withdraw safely and in good order," Hua said.
Noting that China placed a great importance on the safety of its citizens and entities in Yemen, Hua said the government has wasted no time withdrawing Chinese citizens since the security situation in Yemen deteriorated abruptly on Thursday.
Yemen is currently suffering from political unrest and clashes between Houthi rebels and forces loyal to Yemeni President Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who has fled the country.
A Saudi-led coalition, which launched airstrikes on Houthi positions in Yemen starting Thursday, continue to drop bombs on key military targets.