Secret of China's success

THE red flag is flying high in China! Besides mounting human rights violations and environmental crises (it's now official that the country is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world), slave labour scandals pose a grave threat to the country's political system and economy.

It seems that while taking the Great Leap Forward, China regressed to the era when rich nations shamelessly thrived on slavery. The secretive state cannot possibly deny thatmodern-day slavery is rampantacross the nation even as it pulls out all stops toovertake Western superpowers like the US in the economic sphere.

The recent Shanxi scandal in China haslaid bare the unsavoury truth that the Communist country's phenomenal economic successes inthe past two decades are rooted in oppression and ridingroughshod over thepoor. Last month, it was revealed that a brick kiln in the Shanxi province in northern China kidnapped a large number of people, including children, from various parts of the province and forced them to work in abominable conditions.

They were perhaps whipped into submission and illegally detained to work as slaves. The images of the poor, emaciated workers, including child labourers, in what looked like concentration camps during the Holocaust on the state television filled the Chinese people with shock and horror. It prompted the authoritarian regime to take strict legal action against offenders. And it also opened a Pandora's box.

More than 3,000 brick kilns were, it was revealed, illegally employing workers and forcing them to toil thereby trampling on their rights. And such a crime is not restricted to the Shanxi province only. There are thousands of forced labour camps across the nation where millions of people are kept in what is known as "administrative detention" (prisoners without trials). Most of the cheap Chinese goods that we buy from the market are perhaps made in such camps!

It's no state secret that China's economy is largely dependent on slave labour which perhaps explains why its exports are so cheap.

The country will certainly be the economic giant that it aspires to be in the next 50 years.

But the Chinese kingdom on Earth cannot be established without abolishing medieval practices like slavery and sharing the wealth with all its people. Isn't that anyway the basic tenet of the Communist ideology? We are confused!

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