That China exports prisoners to its construction sites overseas to work as cheap labour is quite a popular notion. I have heard this many times and have also relayed it on to many others. Deborah Brautigam though, thinks it is just an urban myth.
My best guess is that stories like this are largely urban myths. People view the way that Chinese construction workers live, in extremely basic conditions like those on the left, in compounds on the construction site. These construction sites are usually surrounded by security fences, but this is to keep the construction site secure, and in particular, to prevent the stealing of construction materials, rather than to keep the workers locked inside.
She signs off with a challenge –
I encourage anyone with actual evidence on this issue to comment. But please provide specific evidence, rather than sightings of Chinese workers who looked like prisoners, or other unsubstantiated claims.
Any evidence, anyone?