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Dozens of oil workers were relocated to Baghdad Wednesday night from northern Iraq, where Sunni insurgents ISIS have taken control, Chinese media reports confirmed today.
The employees of the China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) arrived in Baghdad by helicopter as China prepares evacuation plans for its workers.
The South China Morning Post reports that China is currently the largest foreign investor in Iraq's oil industry, with more than 10,000 workers in the country, most of which are in the south. The newspaper also reports that a number of Chinese oil firms have prepared evacuation plans in case a future ISIS assault threatens their operations — China is the world's second-largest economy, and Iraq is currently the country's fifth-largest supplier of crude oil.
China Daily reports that an additional 1,200 workers who are currently in the northern city of Samarra will be pulled out of northern Iraq "within three days." However, their evacuation may be met with difficulty — government troops in Baghdad reportedly turned away 1,300 CMEC employees, forcing them to return to Samarra.