China's use of slave labour

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Apparently it's for their own good, or at least someone's benefit in any case...

Without justice, China's development comes at too high a price

In a frankly surreal but horrible article, the corruption and ruthless of the Chinese State (not to mention its weirdness) are laid bare. As is the rather weird practice of 'gold-mining':

..."Prison bosses made more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labour," Liu told the Guardian. "There were 300 prisoners forced to play games. We worked 12-hour shifts in the camp. I heard them say they could earn 5,000-6,000rmb [£470-570] a day. We didn't see any of the money. The computers were never turned off."

Memories from his detention at Jixi re-education-through-labour camp in Heilongjiang province from 2004 still haunt Liu. As well as backbreaking mining toil, he carved chopsticks and toothpicks out of planks of wood until his hands were raw and assembled car seat covers that the prison exported to South Korea and Japan. He was also made to memorise communist literature to pay off his debt to society.

But it was the forced online gaming that was the most surreal part of his imprisonment. The hard slog may have been virtual, but the punishment for falling behind was real...

As one commenter put it:

We can't compete economically with a nation which is prepared to treat its own people like shit and use slave labour. It's becoming the utopia for the worst caricatures of slave capitalism.

I know we might do ourselves some damage in the short term, but I really wonder whether our governments should refuse to allow the import of goods from countries where the people have no comparative rights. It would mean that western countries could actually regrow a manufacturing base whilst simultaneously forcing these countries to raise their standards so as to be able to trade with us.

[SOURCE: The Guardian]

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