bloody foreigners

April 11th, 2007

So us foreigners are being targeted. Well, many of those making submissions to the NPC on a new draft employment law are talking about the employment of foreigners. One problem is that the current employment law apparently says nothing about foreigners. Another is that there are no statistics on the number of foreigners employed in China.

“Although there are no official figures on the number of foreigners employed in China, an increasing numbers are now employed by private enterprises in management, technology, and marketing. With the number of foreign companies launching branches or factories in China, some foreign companies too bring in a great number of foreign staff.

“It’s very necessary to use law to regulate their employment in China,” said one of the letters received by the NPC”

Alright, but forgive me if I seem a little wary of such statements. This could turn out to be good, or it could turn out to be bad.

“Other letters said some prosperous coastal areas are recruiting workers, especially women from other developing countries who work for less money than Chinese workers. “If no relevant law exists to regulate imported labor, foreigners will make the already-strained domestic labor market even tighter.””

Aha! More evidence that China, or at least its more prosperous regions, is rapidly approaching developed status. Next thing you know right-wing talk show hosts will be ranting about the imminent threat to civilisation posed by hordes of darker-skinned folks pouring across the borders stealing jobs from good, honest local people, cooking stinky food in their apartments, making noise at inappropriate times, molesting the local rodents and stealing candy from local children. Then the government will start building a bamboo fence along the nation’s southern borders and vigilante groups will patrol the border areas  in convoys of Xiali hatchbacks armed with big sticks and buckets of choudoufu, tanked up on cheap baijiu. Then we’ll know China has made it.

Well, I’m not surprised that some parts of China have started to import cheap foreign labour. Apparently the Pearl River Delta has been having trouble attracting farmers. Apparently the farmers have gotten sick of the low wages, long hours and crap treatment and have moved on to greener pastures. Can’t say I blame them. But ultimately replacing them with imported cheap labour isn’t going to solve any problems.

Anyway, this is an issue that really needs the attention of a China Law Blogger. There really isn’t terribly much I can contribute in my current formaldehyded state (bad zhapi at a restaurant last night…. ), especially when the only information I have to go on is that typically pathetic article from Xinhua via China.org.cn.

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