CHINESE DELEGATION IN PALAU TO RETRIEVE STRANDED WORKERS

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, April 17) - Palau officials say
that Beijing has sent a large delegation to help more than 200 stranded Chinese
factory workers return to their homes.

They have been stranded in Palau since January after their
Taiwanese employers, Orientex Palau, allegedly left without paying the workers
their wages and without providing airline tickets home that were said to be
promised under employment contracts.

After a series of peaceful protests, the workers were arrested
after barricading themselves inside a restaurant last week.

Beijing has asked that the charges be dropped, saying cultural
differences must be considered and their extreme state of mind.

The President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau, has said the criminal
charges are not a priority, but that getting the workers home as soon as
possible is.

April 17, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com 

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