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China Daily Website

Chinese seamen in Antwerp supplied with enough food

Updated: 2013-08-23 05:26
By Fu Jing ( chinadaily.com.cn)

Eleven Chinese seamen of a freight vessel, which had been blocked in Antwerp Port for its owner's going to bankruptcy, has been offered with ample food, said the Chinese ambassador to Belgium.

"I have sent a team to the vessel today to gather the first-hand information while we are ready to offer any necessary assistance to protect their rights," said the ambassador Liao Liqiang on Thursday night in Brussels.

"What we found right now is that the seamen have enough to eat."

Liao's embassy has reacted quickly since Wednesday night after local media reported the seamen are on the verge of starvation after they have blocked in the Antwerp port in March because their owner Taiwan Maritime Transportation Co Ltd, a bulk shipper and energy transportation firm, had asked for bankruptcy protection. And its creditors had asked the court in Belgium to block the vessel.

A Belgian charitable organization had even decided to donate for the crew led by captain Wang Zhendong.

The embassy said the local media has "played up" the crew's situation. "In fact, the supplies in the vessel could satisfy their needs for at least one month," said Liao. "We are very determined to offer any help and protect the rights of the Chinese workers, when necessary."

It was reported that the ship owner and creditors have reached an agreement and the vessel could leave the port soon.

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