Chinese labor camp inmate tells of true horror of Halloween ‘SOS’ – CNN.com. CNN reported the following story on November 6, 2013. This is a story where a Chinese prisoner had sent a secret written message within a Halloween decoration that he had made while in prison (laogai). This product ended up in Oregon where the unsuspecting consumer, Julie Keith, bought it at a K-Mart in Oregon. Ms. Keith had, with the help of some journalists, tracked down the author/prisoner who had written the letter. By the time they found him, he had already been released from prison. He was in Masanjia Labor Camp which is one of hundreds of Chinese laogai (prisons). In the above link and video, CNN interviews this prisoner as he tells of his time in the Chinese laogai. It is a sad tale.
The Masanjia Labor Camp held 5,000 inmates and forced many into forced labor, this being done in horrible living conditions with inhumane treatment (sometimes torture). Laogai, unlike American prisons many times will jail many political “activists”, journalists or religious “dissidents” (such as people who worship in public) without trial. They pay their time and if lucky, they may be released. However, there are some prisoners (in Chinese laogai) who have never committed any crime. These prisoners are serving time for crimes that their parents or their grandparents may have committed. They are born in prison, never to be released.
The Chinese government admits to only 320 Laogai and only 190,000 prisoners. However, most experts know the number is much higher and that the number of prisoners far exceeds the U.S. prison population of 1.5 million. (For the majority of the prison population – in China, they jail people who speak out, while in America, they jail people for using or selling drugs.)
Reasons You should buy American made and not Chinese made Products
- Products are made by enslaved prisoners, whose only crime was standing up to a repressive, totalitarian government.
- Products are made by minors (child labor, like in many Asian countries).
- Products, including food products are adulterated with harmful chemicals known to injury people and pets, melamine, lead, etc.
- The manufacturing of Chinese products has caused wide scale pollution of air, land and water. Pollution is a major problem in China (like it was in the United States in the 1960’s, however, the US has learned from its mistakes), the Chinese continues to pollute like there is no tomorrow, occasionally causing cities to shut down because of lack of visibilty from the smoke, pollution and smog. The pollution is so bad that it caused Lung Cancer in an 8 year old, reports the Dailymail.
- The Chinese are using unfair trade practices – the artificial de-valuation of the Chinese yuan, gives the Chinese an unfair advantage to export.
- Unsafe and unhealthy working conditions for the Chinese laborers.
- No import taxes on many Chinese products – even our Founding Fathers knew that import taxes were essential to keep businesses in the United States running, in order to survive the onslaught of excessive foreign goods flooding the market.
- No oversight of product quality or safety on Chinese goods or foods. Definitely Buyer Beware. (It is the Year 2013, why should we still have to live by Buyer Beware Products? Just because it is cheaper?).
- Chinese products are not made to last, they are made to squeeze out every penny of profit. If you want quality and a product that will last for years, buy American.
- Buying Chinese products puts Americans out of work. The United States has lost 6 million manufacturing jobs since 2000, and 9.5 million ,manufacturing jobs since 1980. That doesn’t include the associated jobs that go with manufacturing. For every manufacturing jobs there is an associated 1.5 – 5 new jobs created.
“Now I check the labels and try not to buy things I don’t necessarily need, especially if it is made in China,” says Julie Keith (the one who received the SOS message).
On the link, there are two other videos from CNN that are fascinating, each about 2 minutes long: “Broken by Labor Camps” and “China under fire over Labor Camps.”