by Staff Writers
Luanda (AFP) Jan 14, 2013
Angola granted more than 116 visas a day to Chinese citizens in the last six months of 2012, the vast majority linked to Chinese investment into the country, Angola's state news agency reported Monday.
Angop reported a total of 21,225 visas were granted to Chinese citizens in the last six months, amid a flood of investment into the country's energy and other sectors.
The rate of visa approvals rose to almost 2,000 a week, according to Luzia Maria Dias dos Santos, of the Angolan embassy in Beijing.
Bilateral trade in the first six months of the year totalled $22 billion ($30 billion), making Angola the largest African trading partner for Beijing.
More than 250,000 Chinese citizens are thought to live in Angola.
4 Chinese workers among 9 abducted in Sudan's Darfur: SUNA
The attackers abducted the men and seized their vehicles on Saturday as they were finishing their work for the day, the report said, without naming the construction company nor indicating who was behind the kidnapping.
Recent years have seen a wave of kidnappings for ransom in Darfur, where ethnic rebels a decade ago began an uprising against the Arab-dominated Khartoum government.
Although violence is down from its peak, villages have been razed and rebel-government fighting, banditry, inter-Arab and tribal disputes continue to afflict the region, in Sudan's far west.
Early last year, rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) abducted a group of 29 Chinese workers in southern Sudan.
The captives, who were involved in a road-building project in South Kordofan state, were abducted on January 28, 2011 when the SPLM-N destroyed a Sudanese military convoy between Rashad town and Al-Abbasiya and took over the area.
They were released unharmed after 11 days.
China is Sudan's major trading partner, the largest buyer of Sudanese oil and a key military supplier to the Khartoum regime.
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