The 21st Century Economic Herald 21世纪经济报道, a newspaper of the Southern Group, published an article by Guo Kai 郭凯 on 21 February, entitled 赞比亚事件：理性规束中国商人海外”劳资异化行为”(The Zambian incident: Reasonable constraints for Chinese businessmen overseas engaging in “behaviour alienating labour from capital”). Commenting on a Zambian court’s indictment of two Chinese managers who shot Zambian mine workers, the paper says that the Zambian government’s announcement of a blacklist of Chinese companies that violate labour rights is insufficient: the Chinese government should also cooperate in not awarding these companies contracts and “ostracizing” (封锁) these companies and individuals. Although the paper notes that, in 2011, projected Chinese investment in Zambia is $2.4 billion compared to a GDP of 13 billion, “China cannot affort opportunism,” because the “incident” has strengthened anti-Chinese sentiments and driven up support for the opposition, which is opposed to Chinese investment. The article also comments that the reason for such “evil” acts by Chinese investors is that China still doesn’t have mature labour-capital relations, and some local governments disregard labour rights in favour of the interests of capital.
This is an interesting article because, while it refers to central government decrees and the “harmonious society,” it uses Africa to criticize domestic violations of labour rights. Is it zealously pro-government or veiledly oppositional?