Monday, April 07, 2008

Africa's Chinese strikers

Labor conflicts involving overseas Chinese workers have become more frequent in recent years due to the increasing flow of Chinese nationals to foreign labor markets .

Two Chinese workers were killed and four were injured when the strikers, reported to number between 100 and 200, confronted Equatorial Guinean security forces who intervened when the protesters tried to stop other Chinese colleagues from working. Equatorial Guinea's government has imposed a news blackout on the incident and the small country's tightly controlled media have made no mention of it. Government ministers reached by telephone by Reuters declined to answer questions about it.
China has withdrawn more than 400 of its workers from Equatorial Guinea
A senior government official said Equatorial Guinea's authorities had asked China to withdraw the workers involved in the labour dispute.

"We do not want strikes in our country. We asked the Chinese ambassador ... to find other workers," the official said.

China invests heavily in development projects in resource-rich African countries. Large oil and gas deposits were discovered in Equatorial Guinea in the mid-1990s and in 2004 the country was listed as the world's fastest-growing economy, though it ranks near the bottom of a UN human development index.

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