The Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing has warned its citizens and firms working in the African continent against travelling to some risky areas amid the abductions of Chinese citizens in Africa.
The disclaimer was issued on Monday by the Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, as he confirmed the abduction of five Chinese nationals in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
He further urged those in dangerous places to leave as soon as possible.
According to Zhao, the abductions took place during an attack on a gold mine in the Mukera village of eastern Congo, citing another recent incident in Nigeria, where three Chinese employees were kidnapped.
The spokesperson stressed that there were “great security risks’’ in Nigeria and Congo, and these incidents were not the first of their kind.
China has significantly increased its investments in the mining industry in Africa in recent years.
This has led to growing local resentment towards wealthy Chinese employees working in countries such as the resource-rich Congo, where living standards are extremely low.
In 2008, Congo’s former president Joseph Kabila signed a highly controversial nine-billion-dollar agreement guaranteeing China mining rights in the country in return for funding for much-needed infrastructure projects.
A few weeks ago, Kabila’s successor, Felix Tshisekedi, called for a review of the agreement and for what he termed “fairer deals”.