Taiwan announced that it successfully evacuated 156 Taiwanese citizens from Israel, while 147 chose to remain in the country….reports Asian Lite News
China is facing criticism for its handling of the evacuation of its citizens in Israel, as they are asked to purchase their own tickets for commercial flights, in contrast to other governments that are actively assisting their citizens in leaving the region amidst ongoing conflicts, Voice of America (VOA) reported.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning, during a regular press briefing, advised local Chinese nationals in Israel to arrange their own travel back to China via commercial flights, which are still operational. “Commercial flights between China and Israel are still in operation. We advise local Chinese nationals to fly back to China on commercial flights as soon as possible.”
While various governments, including Argentina, Taiwan, and the United States, are taking significant steps to evacuate their citizens through chartered flights and other means, the Chinese government’s approach has garnered disapproval. For instance, the United States arranged for a cruise ship to transport its citizens to Cyprus, where they could continue their journey, according to VOA.
Taiwan announced that it successfully evacuated 156 Taiwanese citizens from Israel, while 147 chose to remain in the country.
Chinese citizens in Israel have expressed their frustration on social media, with some sharing their experiences of cancelled flight tickets and a lack of assistance from the Chinese Embassy.
On the Chinese social media platform, Xiaohongshu, a user called “Deep No Blue” posted, “Are there any Chinese living in Tel Aviv on the 9th? She said that Hainan Airlines tickets she and a friend purchased were cancelled. When they called the Chinese Embassy to ask how to leave, they were told to find a way on their own, as reported by VOA.
“You are the one who slandered the embassy,” wrote one. Another posted, “Why did you bother the embassy if you could buy your own tickets? Your last post deserved to be deleted.”
The cancellation of Hainan Airlines flights between Tel Aviv and Shanghai on October 9 due to the conflict added to the challenges faced by Chinese nationals.
China’s state media outlet, Global Times, reported the flight cancellations but did not address the citizens’ plight in the same detail. Some Chinese expatriates in Israel criticised the lack of concrete action by the Chinese government, and there have been repeated inquiries in WeChat groups about evacuation plans, with seemingly unsatisfactory responses from embassy staff.
Despite pleas for assistance, the Chinese Embassy in Israel has advised its citizens to take necessary security precautions and make their own arrangements for departure.
The situation has led to dissatisfaction among Chinese expatriates in Israel, with some feeling let down by their government’s response and its failure to act swiftly in evacuating them from the conflict-stricken area.
VOA Mandarin reached out to the Chinese Embassy in Washington for comment and details about China’s evacuation plan but received a response that reiterated the advice for citizens to use commercial flights for their return. The embassy spokesperson mentioned closely monitoring the situation and ensuring the safety of Chinese nationals.
In an email, embassy spokesperson Liu Pengyu, replied, “Relevant Chinese diplomatic institutions are taking every effective step to keep Chinese nationals and institutions safe. Commercial flights between China and Israel are still in operation. We advise local Chinese nationals to fly back to China on commercial flights as soon as possible.
“We will continue to carefully assess the security situation in Palestine and Israel, closely track air and ground accessibility and safety conditions, and exert every effort to provide assistance to Chinese nationals,” he added..
As of the search date, VOA Mandarin found limited direct flight options from Tel Aviv to major Chinese cities, with ticket prices exceeding USD 1,000 for most routes, potentially placing a financial burden on Chinese citizens looking to leave Israel amidst the conflict, Voice of America reported. (ANI)