Migrant workers clash with locals in southern China | Asia | An in-depth look at news from across the continent | DW | 26.06.2012

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Migrant workers clash with locals in southern China

A rights organization has reported that at least 30 people have been injured in southern China in clashes between migrant workers and locals of Shaxi town.

The Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, a rights group, said on Tuesday that scores of people had been injured when police attempted to break up clashes between migrant workers and Chinese locals in Guangdong province's Shaxi town.

China's Guangdong province is located next to Hong Kong, and is also known as the "world's factory floor." In recent decades, millions of migrant workers have moved to this area in search of job.

The rights group said the Monday's unrest started after a fight broke out between a migrant youth and a young local man.

Eyewitnesses told AFP that the clashes started Monday afternoon but escalated late night. Several thousand people were involved in these clashes.

"There were lots of riot police outside last night, and there are still many outside now. More than 30 people were injured," said Liu Tianjin, a Shaxi factory worker.

Chinese officials have confirmed the unrest.

"We are now working on it, a local policeman told AFP on condition of anonymity. “There are many police officers posted outside the Shaxi government."

Discrimination against migrant workers

In recent years, unrest among migrant workers in China has sharply increased. Many migrant workers complain of discrimination and unequal treatment by local authorities.

In November last year, more than 7,000 workers staged a protest over wage cuts and layoffs at a Guangdong factory manufacturing Adidas and Nike shoes.

Human rights organizations complain about the inhuman treatment of migrant workers in Chinese factories in many parts of China. Last month, about 1000 workers protested against the government in the wealthy Zhejiang province after a worker was apparently killed by his employer.

shs / sb (AFP, Reuters)

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