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China ‘paying close attention’ to migrant deaths off Mexican coast

China 'paying close attention' to migrant deaths off Mexican coast
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China said Monday it was “paying close attention” to the capsizing of a migrant boat off the coast of Mexico that left eight of its citizens dead.

The bodies of seven Chinese women and one man were found on Friday on a beach in Oaxaca state, Mexican officials said Saturday.

They were aboard a boat operated by a Mexican that overturned after leaving Tapachula, Chiapas state, on a route often used by migrants trying to reach the US.

A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said Monday that Beijing was “paying close attention to this boat capsizing incident”.

Chinese diplomats were working with Mexican authorities to “further verify information on the victims”, Wang Wenbin said at a regular press briefing.

Another migrant survived the ordeal, according to Mexican officials.

Beijing is “providing assistance to surviving Chinese citizens”, Wang said.

China had “requested that the Mexican side steps up its investigation into the incident”, he said, adding that an embassy team had gone to the site.

There were no immediate details about what had happened to the Mexican driving the capsized vessel or the condition of the surviving migrant.

Thousands of undocumented migrants, often fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries, transit through Mexico each year en route to the US border.

Many are from Central America, but some hail from China, India and other farther-flung nations, official data shows.

Rising numbers of migrants have overwhelmed Mexican immigration facilities and the United States has urged its neighbour to stem the flow towards its frontiers.

Illegal immigration has become a key issue ahead of the US presidential election later this year.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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