Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Forced Labor Key to China’s Economic Growth

Posted by w_thames_the_d on October 16, 2013

China has over 20% of all the people on the planet which means they should have cheap labor. if this is true, then why do they need forced or slave labor?


You’ll hear a lot of pieties about China this week. As George Osborne and Boris Johnson schlep from Shanghai to Shenzhen, they’ll give the usual sales spiel about trade and investment and the global race. What they won’t talk much about is Zhang Lintong. Yet the 16-year-old’s story tells you more about the human collateral in the relationship between China and the west than any number of ministerial platitudes.

In June 2011, Zhang and his teenage classmates were taken out of their family homes and dispatched to a factory making electronic gadgets. The pupils were away for a six-month internship at a giant Foxconn plant in the southern city of Shenzhen, a 20-hour train ride from their home in central China. He had no say in the matter, he told researchers. “Unless we could present a medical report certified by the city hospital that we were very ill, we had to go immediately.”

As a first-year student at a secondary vocational school, it was illegal for Zhang (not his real name) to be sent on any kind of internship. And under Chinese law work-placements have to be directly related to a pupil’s studies. Zhang was an arts major and a fan of the work of Russian realist painters. He was to spend half a year turning out iPhones and other consumer electronics.”

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4 Responses to “Forced Labor Key to China’s Economic Growth”

  1. quoter said

    Like all things abandoned in China, the following photos have a certain creepiness to them. However, more than just creepy, they’re also kind of depressing.

    See, unlike China’s empty malls or centrally-planned ghost towns, these Olympics venues weren’t always hollow shells. They were once massive and meticulously orchestrated affairs, exploding with life. Now they’re as cold and lifeless as the system of government that runs that country.

    Anyway, that’s how we feel about it [and you should too].

    Here are some “before” and “after” photos of China’s Olympic venues [via Yahoo’s Erick Galindo]:


    Click here to see more of the slideshow:


    Total costs for beijing 2008 olympics: US$43 billion (!!!)


    On March 6, 2009 the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games reported that total spending on the games was “generally as much as that of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games”, which was equivalent to about US$15 billion. They went on to claim that surplus revenues from the Games would exceed the original target of $16 million.[11] Other reports, however, estimated the total costs from $40 billion to $44 billion, which would make the Games “far and away the most expensive ever”.[12][13][14]


  2. isaytomato said

    china is the greatest threat to humanity in the history of the world. the cave man has survived to this day. his name is china.
    a giant locust without brain. china will end very very badly. and they will provoke a nuclear war before going down. we need to kill and eradicate the chinese pest from the face of the earth to safe our world from this disgusting subhuman weaklings.

  3. quoter said


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