China's Communist regime reportedly treats Chinese workers who work on its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects like slaves.
The Epoch Times was able to interview one of the skilled workers in China's flagship project in Turkey, the Hunutlu Thermal Power Plant, who disclosed that they are forced to work every day even Sundays on a 12-hour shift yet are underpaid.
According to the Epoch Times, the skilled worker, who hid himself by the name Liu Qiang, disclosed that the monthly offer of $2,346 enticed him to work in the plant despite the pandemic for a nine-hour "normal job."
The reality of his working conditions hit him only when he was already there in Turkey, such as not being given work contracts or permits, insurance, medical compensation, and enough time to rest. This does not include receiving his actual pay that's slashed by a third of what's promised him just because he allegedly didn't suit the job's criteria.
"We were told the scheduled working hours was nine, a normal job. "But when we came, the company did not sign contracts, nor give any permit," Qiang narrated to The Epoch times.
"We are tired, ill, and need a break, but are not allowed. They said we are only allowed to go back after a full working year. It's horrible here! What is it going to be like after a year? I have no idea. I have to live and work like a slave," he stressed.
Qiang said that it was common for the workers to become dizzy and experience fatigue due to the extended working hours amidst Turkey's hot weather. This then led the workers to make mistakes at work and even to suffer injuries.
"We are afraid that we will not earn much money but will be left with physical injuries-broken bones or other injuries-which could be a lifelong condition," he added.
Qiang explained that he had two roommates suffered leg injuries that were not properly treated medically. The roommates were just asked to lay down in their dormitory since they would not be brought to the hospital unless the leg was broken.
In addition, Qiang said there were barbed wired metal fences surrounding the construction site that prevented any one from attempting to escape. He also said they have limited movements such that they are only to stay in their dormitory after work. He stated that those who protested were still held on site since their passports were confiscated. He highlighted that the Chinese Embassy in Turkey turned them down since the matter is a labor concern and not a matter of foreign relations.
It's like a China-owned labor camp, where workers are treated like slaves, but only situated in Turkey.
The Epoch Times explained that the Hunutlu Power Plant, China's flagship project, employs 1,000 Chinese workers (with 1,800 reported during the pandemic) that were forbidden to leave the site since it follows the "closed-off" strategy of the Chinese Communist Party.
Under the multi-trillion-dollar scheme of BRI, the Hunutlu Thermal Power project was subcontracted by China Energy Engineering Group Anhui No.1 Electric Power Construction Co., Ltd. (AEPC) for main contractor Shanghai Electric Power Company that amounted to a $1.7 billion investment. AEPC was able to acquire the skilled workers to Turkey through their subcontractor Anhui Zhenjiang Holding Group (AZHG).
The Epoch Times said that neither AEPC or AZHG have responded to their invitation to clarify nor comment to the allegations made by Qiang.