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Article

14 Jun 2020

Author:
Yau Tsz Yan, Eurasianet (USA)

Chinese workers in Central Asia forced to work overtime despite pandemic fears

"Chinese business briefing: Working overtime", 4 June 2020

Many Chinese workers have been stuck in Central Asia during the coronavirus lockdown, forced to work overtime to meet production quotas.

As a source of raw metals, Tajikistan has become a destination for thousands of low-skill Chinese laborers. How Beijing regards these workers has charged into view during the coronavirus pandemic. Spoiler alert: They are not a priority.

Chinese workers at a mine in northern Tajikistan had been demanding passage home for weeks before learning that a Chinese national in the country had contracted COVID-19. Rumors then spread that two had died. On May 20, around 100 of the miners rioted, reportedly fearful they would not receive adequate treatment in Tajikistan if they, too, were infected. Authorities suppressed them with force. Many Chinese workers are stranded.

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