"Malta braces itself to handle evacuees," announces the Times of Malta. The daily explains that the island has received "requests from the UK, Germany, Austria, Brazil, Thailand, Vietnam, and crucially from China, which has an army of 35,000 workers in Libya." The newspaper points out that Malta, which is the nearest European country to Libya, will be used as "transit point" for nationals of third countries fleeing the violence in the Arab state. It also notes that the 300km2 island recently welcomed a number of defecting Libyan pilots.