The Chinese ambassador to Belgrade, Chen Bo, stated on Friday (November 19th) that the embassy urges all Chinese companies to abide by Serbia’s laws and regulations and to treat workers in accordance with the agreement.
Chen Bo, responding to reporters’ questions about the case of Vietnamese workers engaged in the construction of the Chinese Linglong factory near Zrenjanin, said everyone had seen media reports about working conditions, but added that she hoped everyone read what the Chinese company also emphasized in this regard.
“You may have noticed that the competent departments of Serbia do not think that the Chinese company has the stated theses of certain media,” said Chen Bo in Kragujevac, in central Serbia, where she attended the start of construction work on the sewerage network in which Chinese investors participate.
She added that “media surveillance is always welcome, but that false information is never acceptable “and that the Chinese company’s reports should be read.
The Chinese ambassador also said that “Chinese companies over the years have made efforts to contribute to the economic development of Serbia” and expressed confidence that “all Serbian citizens can see and feel the concrete results of that cooperation.”
After the media filmed the difficult conditions in which workers from Vietnam live, working in the construction of a tire factory of the Chinese company Linglong near Zrenjanin, 80 kilometers north of Belgrade, the workers confirmed to RFE that they are moving from an unconditional camp to new locations.
Despite the bad conditions in which they work on, Vietnamese workers have told the media that their passports have been confiscated upon their arrival in Serbia and that they can not return to their homeland.
The Chinese company Linglong confirmed to Radio Free Europe on November 18 that the Vietnamese workers involved in the Zrenjanin plant construction project were hired by one of their contractors, TEPC (China Energy Engineering Group Tianjin Electric Power Construction).