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Chinese Workers Stranded in Palau Return Home
The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced in Beijing Monday that Chinese workers who had been stranded in the Republic of Palau have returned home safely.

The workers arrived in Shanghai at 5:00 p.m. Monday on board two planes of China's Xiamen Airlines, said a Foreign Ministry press release.

According to the release, about 200 Chinese workers were stranded in Palau in early April, after the factories they were employed at went bankrupt.

With no income, the workers' lives became difficult and they asked to return to China, the release said.

Becoming dissatisfied with their former employers, some of the workers went out to protest and were arrested by the local police with the charge of disrupting the social order.

The release said the Chinese State Council paid great attention to the issue and asked relevant departments to immediately take measures to solve the problem.

With the joint efforts of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, the Ministry of Public Security, the General Administration of Civil Aviation, local governments of the workers' hometowns, and the Chinese Embassy in Palau, the island republic agreed to release the arrested workers and not to indict them.

Since the distance between China and Palau is long and there is no direct flight connecting them, the Chinese government chartered two planes to bring all the workers back, said the release.

(Xinhua News Agency April 22, 2003)

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