When Libya began splintering in the civil war that eventually overthrew Moammar Gadhafi last year, some 30,000 Chinese were working in the country. The Chinese military orchestrated a large-scale evacuation, sending ships and planes.
Xinhua said the 29 people kidnapped in Sudan were among 47 Chinese workers were caught in an attack in South Kordofan. The other 18 workers fled, and one of them remains missing, the agency said. The attack took place near Abbasiya town, 390 miles (630 kilometers) south of Khartoum.
Sudanese officials have blamed the attack on the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North, a branch of a guerrilla movement that has fought various regimes in Khartoum for decades. Its members come from a minority ethnic group now in control of much of South Sudan, which became the world's newest country six months ago in a breakaway from Sudan.
Sudan has accused South Sudan of arming pro-South Sudan groups in South Kordofan. The government of South Sudan says the accusations are a smoke screen intended to justify a future invasion of the South.
Beijing has tried to maneuver through the dispute, building ties with South Sudan, where many of the oil fields are located, while maintaining its long-standing relations with Sudan, through which pipelines run for export.
Associated Press researcher Zhao Liang contributed to this report.
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