How China Has Created a New Slave Empire in Africa

In the Daily Mail, Peter Hitchens gives a dramatic perspective on the living and working conditions of laborers in and the Democratic Republic of Congo working for Chinese companies:

These poor, hopeless, angry people exist by grubbing for scraps of cobalt and ore in the filth and dust of abandoned copper mines in Congo, sinking perilous 80ft shafts by hand, washing their finds in cholera-infected streams full of human filth, then pushing enormous two-hundredweight loads uphill on ancient bicycles to the nearby town of Likasi where middlemen buy them to sell on, mainly to Chinese businessmen hungry for these vital metals.

[…] Many perish as their primitive mines on them, or are horribly injured without hope of . Many are little more than children. On a good day they may earn $3, which just supports a meagre existence in diseased, malarial slums…

Out of desperation, much of the continent is selling itself into a new era of corruption and virtual as China seeks to buy up all the metals, and she can lay her hands on: copper for electric and telephone cables, cobalt for mobile phones and jet engines – the basic raw materials of modern life.

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