“I Felt it Was a Fairly Small Thing” – CCTV Investigates the Shanxi Brick Kiln (Updated)

ESWN has translated a lengthy investigation by CCTV into the Shanxi brick kiln case, in which the foreman of the kiln is interviewed and describes the beatings of workers “a fairly small thing.” ESWN has also included translations of articles on the case from Southern Metropolis Daily and Southern Weekend. From the CCTV transcript:

Feng Yingui: In November last year, Zhao Yanbing beat a worker to death.

Zhao Yanbing: There was this worker who was 57 or 58 years old. He did not do his work well. I only wanted to scare him a bit. But as soon as I raised the shovel, he rushed over to me. I raised the shovel and it hit him on the head. He fell down.

Heng Mingyang: The next day, Wang Ximing called him to eat but he was already dead. [Full text]

Danwei has also provided a round-up of reactions in Chinese cyberspace to the event. See also ESWN’s “Comments on the Shanxi Brick Kiln Case“.

Update: See Howard French’s report in the International Herald Tribune discussing this case in the context of child labor in China:

Under President Hu Jintao, the Communist Party has made the creation of what it calls a harmonious society one of the government’s main tenets, and as part of that effort, in fact, a major revision of laws governing the rights of children took effect just this month. The reality on the ground here, however, is often far closer to Heng’s world than it is to the government’s vision of things, with working conditions in many areas approaching what might be called brutal capitalism.

From the densely packed factory zones of Guangdong Province to the street markets, kitchens and brothels of major cities, to the primitive factories of China’s relatively poor western provinces, child labor is a daily fact of life and one to which the government typically turns a blind eye. [Full text]


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