The Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing has warned Chinese citizens and companies working on the African continent not to travel to some risky areas amid the kidnappings of Chinese citizens in Africa.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian confirmed on Monday the kidnapping of five Chinese citizens in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
He urged those in dangerous places to leave as soon as possible.
Zhao said the kidnappings took place during an attack on a gold mine in the eastern Congo village of Mukera, adding that in another recent incident in Nigeria, three Chinese employees were also kidnapped.
The spokesperson stressed that there were “great security risks” in Nigeria and the Congo, and these incidents were not the first of their kind either.
“China‘s foreign ministry, embassies and consulates had previously advised citizens not to go to high-risk areas.”
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 resource-rich countries like the Congo, where living standards are extremely low.
In 2008, former Congolese President Joseph Kabila signed a controversial $ 9 billion deal that guaranteed China’s mining rights in the country in exchange for funds for much-needed infrastructure projects.
A few weeks ago, Kabila’s successor, Felix Tshisekedi, called for a review of the deal and what he called “fairer deals.”