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Hong Kong Protest Faults Clinton

July 2, 1998

HONG KONG (AP) _ Demonstrators marched through Hong Kong today, burning a U.S. flag before President Clinton’s arrival and protesting labor conditions in mainland China.

About a dozen members of the April 5 Action Group burned a small American flag near the U.S. Consulate and called for U.S. companies to improve working conditions in their factories in China.

``We criticize Bill Clinton for talking about human rights and doing nothing about it,″ said Leung Kwok-hung, leader of the group.

Marching from Hong Kong’s central business district, the group carried flags saying: ``Stop U.S. businesses in China from creating a workshop of sweat and blood.″

Earlier, 20 other labor activists protested outside the consulate to deliver an open letter criticizing working conditions of U.S. multinational companies in China.

``Workers’ rights are people’s rights,″ they chanted.

Han Dongfang, leader of the group, handed the letter to an official from the U.S. Consulate and said Clinton ``did not see the real working conditions″ of workers in factories manufacturing U.S. goods.

A report released in Washington in March said conditions for thousands of workers in mainland factories, often owned by middlemen who sell to major labels, were getting dramatically worse.

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