Report reveals human rights costs for global investment in China


Rights groups recorded more than 600 alleged human rights abuses committed by overseas Chinese companies between 2013 and 2020.

Report (pdfAccording to the Business and Human Rights Resources Center (BHRRC), 679 complaints by overseas Chinese companies are profiled by sector, region, and issue.

The August 11 report, entitled “Going Responsibly,” addresses a variety of human rights issues, including environmental risks, infringement of land rights, and loss of livelihood.

Other allegations of abuse covered by the report are inadequate compensation for locals, inadequate worker payments, workplace safety and worker abuse.

“As Chinese companies, especially energy, construction, mining and metal companies continue to expand abroad, civil society and the media have unfortunately increased social, environmental and human rights abuses, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America. I am reporting, “said the report.

The BHRRC said the rate of allegations of abuse was high in both “weakly governed” countries and countries that depended on China’s investment.

Burma (also known as Myanmar) has the highest number of alleged abuses, with nearly 100 allegations: Peru (60), Ecuador (39), Laos (39), Cambodia (34), Indonesia (25) follows. report.

In May, Burmese junta reportedly Approved 15 Chinese projects including a $ 2.5 billion power plant backed by a Chinese company.

“Projects run by Chinese companies are likely to be approved by military junta in the future,” the report said, avoiding countries that have suffered a civil war since the February 1 coup.

The data also show that human rights risks are particularly high in the metals and mining industries, accounting for one-third of all reports, followed by the construction and fossil fuel energy industries.

Cambodian villagers
The villagers are standing at their homes before the bulldozer was installed to give way to Sesantu Dam in Stung Treng, Cambodia on May 7, 2015. (Jason South / Fairfax Media / Getty Images)

Other rights groups, such as Human Rights Watch (HRW), have expressed similar concerns.

Earlier this month, HRW reported that despite widespread opposition, bulldozer ancestral homes in a China-led joint venture in northeastern Cambodia would give way to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Dam.Rights group where about 5,000 villagers were forcibly evacuated without fair compensation Said August 10.

Authorities told locals to move to higher ground. “”[Otherwise,] According to HRW, the authorities are not responsible for any deaths. “


BHRRC sought responses from over 100 companies over the eight years covered by the report. The overall response rate of Asian companies is over 50%, while the response rate of Chinese companies is 24%.

Researchers have found that most of the company’s responses received were in full Chinese. The report showed that companies are reluctant to communicate in English or the local language.

“”[This could affect] “Communities and civil society in host countries wishing to engage with Chinese companies,” the researchers said.

Half of the answers also avoided answering the question directly, and companies referred to local law “often simply” rather than international standards.

“This is potentially problematic,” the report said, explaining that regulations in some areas are weakly written or enforced.

Epoch Times Photo
On December 13, 2018, a Cambodian man is waiting for a motorcycle while two Chinese workers are working at a construction site in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. (Tang Chhin Sothy / AFP via Getty Images)

“Go Out Policy”

Beijing introduced a “go out policy” in 1999 to encourage overseas Chinese investment, and the BHRRC has said that “the footprint of Chinese companies has expanded significantly” since then.

This policy is, to start the BRI scheme of trillions of dollars in 習近 Xiaoping 2013 is the current leader, harbor, has been further facilitated by connecting railway, via the road network in China and Asia, and Europe ..

Critics say China’s pursuit at BRI is also about digesting the overcapacity and labor force of industries across the country and achieving geopolitical ambitions.

As of January 30, 2021, China claimed to have signed 205 cooperation documents related to BRI projects such as railroads, ports and highways with 140 countries and 31 international organizations.

Rita Lee

Rita Lee is a reporter for The Epoch Times, focusing on topics related to China. She started writing the Chinese version in 2018.