What is the history of slavery in China?
- connieLv 79 years agoFavorite Answer
In the 17th century Qing Dynasty, there was a hereditarily servile people called Booi Aha which is a Manchu word literally translated as "household person" and sometimes rendered as "nucai" or "slaves".
In his book China Marches West, Peter C. Perdue stated:"In 1624(After Nurhachi's invasion of Liaodong) "Chinese households....while those with less were made into slaves." The Manchu was establishing close personal and paternalist relationship between masters and their slaves.
Chinese muslim (Tungans) Sufis who were charged with practicing xiejiao (heterodox religion), were punished by exile to Xinjiang and being sold as a slave other muslims, such as the Sufi begs.
Han Chinese who committed crimes such as those dealing with opium became slaves to the begs, this practice was administered by Qing law. Most Chinese in Altishahr were exile slaves to Turkestani Begs. Ironically, while free Chinese merchants generally did not engage in relationships with East Turkestani women, some of the Chinese slaves belonging to begs, along with Green Standard soldiers, Bannermen, and Manchus, engaged in affairs with the East Turkestani women that were serious in nature.
The Qing dynasty procured 420 women and girl slaves, all of them Mongol, to service Oirat Mongol bannermen stationed in Xinjiang in 1764. Many Torghut Mongol boys and girls were sold to Central Asian markets or on the local Xinjiang market to native Turkestanis. A system of child slavery known as Mui Tsai, where children were sold for domestic work, persisted until the second half of the 20th century. All forms of slavery have been illegal in China since 1910, although the practice still exists through illegal trafficking in some areas.
June 16, 2007 - Beijing (The Guardian)- More than 450 slave workers – many of them maimed, burned and mentally scarred – have been rescued from Chinese brick factories in an investigation into illegal labour camps, it emerged yesterday. The victims, including children as young as 14, were reportedly abducted or tricked into labouring at the kilns, where they toiled for 16 to 20 hours a day for no pay and barely enough food to live. According to the state media, they were beaten by guards and kept from escaping by dogs. At least 13 died from overwork and abuse, including a labourer who was allegedly battered to death with a shovel.
Such cruelty appears to have been commonplace and, until this week, ignored by local governments intent on boosting economic growth at any cost. Their plight was revealed by one of the biggest known police operations in the country’s history. In the past week 35,000 police have inspected 7,500 kilns in the countryside of Shanxi and Henan provinces, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported. They have arrested 120 suspects and freed 468 slaves, including 109 juveniles.
The results of this probe into the darkest corners of Chinese society have shocked the nation. Since the first case was revealed on June 8, newspapers and television broadcasts have been filled with images of the wounded, emaciated and traumatised slaves. Some were so badly hurt they had to be carried out on stretchers.
Their living conditions were appalling. According to local media they were locked for years in a bare room with no bed or stove, allowed out only to work in the red-hot kilns, from where they would carry heavy, burning loads of newly fired bricks on their bare backs. Many were badly scalded. Fifteen-minute meal-breaks consisted only of steamed buns and cold water.
One of the labourers, 17-year-old Zang Wenlong, told a TV station that the kiln where he worked for three months in Caosheng village in Shanxi was a “prison”. He said he had been abducted from a train station. Yang Aizhi told Xinhua that she went looking for her 16-year-old son in March after hearing that he might have been forced to work at a brick factory.
The huge police investigation was prompted by 400 parents of missing youths, who posted a petition on the internet last week, accusing local officials of ignoring their suspicions.