CHINESE BOAT PEOPLE ARRIVE IN NEW CALEDONIA

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NOUMEA, New Caledonia (November 6, 1997 - Radio Australia)---Officials in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia are investigating the arrival of a group of Chinese boat people.

The 32 men and seven women arrived in the northern part of Noumea, the New Caledonian capital, aboard a fishing boat, lacking both food and fuel.

Officials say it appears they left the island of Hainan in southern China in mid-September, receiving supplies in October from an Australian ship in the Torres Strait.

The boat people's final destination is thought to be New Zealand.

Officials say the boat and its occupants have been placed under police guard, while an investigation continues.

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