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China responds to Singapore's Chinese bus driver arrests


09:24, December 01, 2012

BEIJING, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- China on Friday called on Singapore to properly deal with the case of Chinese bus drivers arrested following a strike.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks at a daily news briefing when asked to comment on the arrest of four Chinese bus drivers employed by Singapore's public transport company on suspicion of instigating an "illegal strike."

China calls on the Singaporean side to take Chinese workers' specific conditions and legitimate appeals into full consideration, discreetly and properly handle the case, and substantially protect the lawful rights of the arrested Chinese workers, Hong said.

The spokesman said the Chinese Foreign Ministry and Chinese Embassy in Singapore have paid great attention to the case and maintained close contact with the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Manpower and the police authorities of Singapore.

According to news reports, four Chinese bus drivers who worked for the state-linked transport group SMRT Buses Ltd were arrested by police on Wednesday and Thursday on suspicion of instigating an "illegal strike."

They were taken to court on Thursday, one day after Chinese drivers at SMRT ended a two-day work stoppage aimed at securing better pay.

Some 171 Chinese bus drivers asked for sick leave together on Monday in protest at being paid nearly a quarter less than Malaysian bus drivers who work for the same transport company.

Hong said the Chinese embassy sent a consular official to attend the first court hearing.

He added that the Foreign Ministry and the embassy will continue to closely follow the situation and maintain contact with the Singaporean side so as to seek a proper solution of the case.


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