China supports Zambian coal mine incident investigation: Embassy

09:17, October 21, 2010      

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China's embassy in Zambia said in a statement Wednesday China respected and supported the Zambian side in investigating and dealing with the Collum Coal Mine incident in which 11 local employees and three Chinese were injured last Friday.

On Oct. 15, an incident arising from a pay dispute happened at the mine at Sinazongwe in Zambia's south. There was massive damage to mine equipment in addition to the injuries, according to the statement.

The embassy revealed in the statement that, after the incident, it promptly contacted the relevant Zambian government ministries, police department and local authorities, and adopted a series of measures to ease the situation.

"The embassy officials went to the mine site to collect information and inspect the situation, provided the guidance on the aftermath settlement, urged the owner of the coal mine to complete the paying of the due salaries to the local employees, send all the injured to the hospitals and shoulder all the expense incurred, and arranged negotiation between the two parties for a fair and decent salary settlement," it said.

"Currently, the Zambia has also dispatched a joint-team to conduct an on-site investigation. Under the mutual efforts from both sides, the situation has become calm and stable and the production of the coal mine is operating normally," the statement said.

The embassy also said China was one of Zambia's major source countries of investment. The capital and technology from China had played a positive role in Zambia's economic and social development and advancement of local living standards.

"The Chinese government consistently requires Chinese overseas companies strictly to comply with the laws and regulations of the host countries, promoting the social and economic development of the local community as well as accomplishing self-development," the embassy said.

"The Chinese side respects and supports the Zambian side in conducting the investigation and dealing with this incident, bringing offenders and the inciters of the riot to book and protecting the rights and interests of both sides. We believe this is only an isolated incident, and will not affect the time-honored friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation between our two countries," the statement said.



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