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China Daily Website

Chinese continue leaving Ghana

Updated: 2013-06-14 02:26
By ZHAO YANRONG ( China Daily)

A joint working team from the Foreign Ministry, the Commerce Ministry and the Ministry of Public Security arrived in Ghana on Tuesday to negotiate with Ghanaian officials the legal status of the 169 formerly detained Chinese miners and others who were accused of illegally operating mines.

"My brother said after the arrival of working groups, local police and armed forces have not been so tough toward the Chinese, but because of the huge number of Chinese in Ghana, it takes time to help everyone go through the legal process to return home," said a 30-year-old man in Shanglin surnamed Wen.

As the oldest son in the family, Wen stayed in China in order to take care of his parents. His younger brother, who is 24, went to Ghana a year ago.

"He said there are gunfights sometime in their nearby mining sites between Chinese miners and local gangsters. He is very scared of working there, actually," Wen said.

But the brothers did not find many working opportunities in their less-developed hometown. "I hope the joint working group can issue a legal file and help my brother get home as soon as possible," Wen said.

"Nothing is more important than my brother's life."

Xu Weizhong, an expert on Africa studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said the trouble has been brewing for quite some time. And it requires more practical cooperation between the two countries' governments to solve the problem.

"Both sides need to collect comprehensive information about those Chinese workers' movement between the two countries," he said.

"The two governments should communicate better based on the available information, and try to come up with a practical solution that follows local laws but also protects Chinese workers' interests."

Xu also said the gold dream inflated like a bubble for many Chinese workers in Ghana. More Chinese went to the country with more money in recent years.

"Bubbles burst sooner or later, so Chinese are better not to follow get-rich-quick dreams in the future."

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