Twenty-nine Chinese workers at state-owned Power Construction Corp of China went missing after rebels attacked a remote road construction worksite in Sudan on Saturday afternoon, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing state media. Spokesman at the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, which is allied with South Sudan and opposes the Sudanese government, told state media that the Chinese workers were being protected from further fighting in the area. Led by a party called the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July last year. However, disputes over the transit of oil from production fields in the south to ports in the north have escalated in recent months. China is the largest buyer of oil from Sudan, much of which is pumped from fields in South Sudan; both Sudan and South Sudan depend on oil for over 90% of their exports. “Currently, the Sudanese government is doing its utmost to locate and rescue the missing Chinese nationals and has enhanced protection for other Chinese nationals and projects in Sudan,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin.