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17 Jan 2023

CNA (Singapore),

Indonesia: Protests over labour conditions at Chinese-funded nickel plant led to violence killing two

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"Riot at Chinese-funded nickel plant in Indonesia kills two" 16 January 2023

Two workers including a Chinese national were killed at a nickel smelting plant in Indonesia at the weekend after a riot broke out during a protest over labour conditions, officials said Monday (Jan 16).

The clashes began Saturday evening at the facility on Indonesia's Sulawesi island operated by PT Gunbuster Nickel Industry (GNI), a local unit of China's Jiangsu Delong Nickel Industry.

The island is a hub for the mineral-rich country's production of the metal, which is used for electric vehicle batteries and stainless steel.

A 30-year-old Chinese worker and an Indonesian worker were killed, Central Sulawesi police spokesman Didik Supranoto told AFP, without giving a cause of death.

Beijing is working with the Indonesian government to ensure the incident will be "properly handled in accordance with the law" after the death of its citizen, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a briefing Monday.

The Chinese embassy in Jakarta did not respond to a request for comment. [...]

"We express our deep condolences about the demonstration that ended in chaos ... because it did not only impact the company but also the surrounding community," GNI said in a statement.

It said the company and police were investigating the protest and deaths. [...]