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China Shocked by Violence at Madagascar Sugar Plant

China said it is shocked by violent protests last week at a Chinese-owned sugar plant in Madagascar.

The Chinese Embassy in Antananarivo blamed Madagascar officials for not doing their duty to protect Chinese interests.

Last week, at least four people died in clashes between police and workers at the plant in the town of Morondava. Workers at the plant are demanding better contracts for seasonal workers.

The Chinese embassy called the demands "unreasonable."

Madagascar Prime Minister Roger Kolo pledged to try to resolve the problems at the factory.

China is Africa's largest trading partner, but closer ties have resulted in sometimes violent labor disputes.