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United Daily News: Foxconn suicides is more than coincidence

United Daily News: Foxconn suicides is more than coincidence

When 12 Foxconn workers in China jumped from tall buildings in their factory complex, 10 of them died, the incident drew widespread attention because Foxconn is one of the largest Taiwanese companies operating in China, touted as "the world's factory." According to an in-depth report written by a correspondent of Southern Weekend, a Chinese weekly, who worked undercover at a Foxconn factory for 28 days, Foxconn treats its workers according to the law. The tragedy is the miserable destiny of the workers who killed themselves.
China owes its rise to its low labor costs, which meet Western powers' needs to outsource their work overseas to avoid the high labor costs and stringent environmental protection requirements in their own countries.
China is undergoing drastic changes: Its people, who used to depend on the government to give them jobs and places to live, now have to find jobs and homes for themselves. These changes are causing pain for the Chinese people.
The Beijing regime knows quite well that its cheap labor force is the country's major attraction for foreign investors, but young workers in the factories there feel they are exploited and are eager to grab a bigger share of the country's newly acquired wealth.
It is a paradox that the Communist Party of China, which touts itself as the representative of the proletariat, cannot protect those same proletariats from exploitation. China can hardly be considered a stable state unless it addresses the problem properly.
Foxconn should not be branded as a sweatshop employer according to the criteria of either China or the world, but Taiwanese businessmen are a special group of people in China. The privileges they enjoy predispose them to criticism, which is evident in the way some Chinese and Hong Kong media have criticised Foxconn to an extent that borders on discrimination.
The Beijing authorities should deal with this problem carefully, as Foxconn is a law-abiding Taiwanese firm and it would be unfair to ascribe blame for the tragedy to the company. (May 28, 2010) (By Maubo Chang)




Updated : 2021-07-31 18:28 GMT+08:00