The Laogai Research Foundation: Background information when reading Made in China

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Made in China

A Prisoner, an SOS Letter, and the Hidden Cost of America's Cheap Goods

by Amelia Pang

Made in China by Amelia Pang X
Made in China by Amelia Pang
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2021, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2022, 288 pages

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Kim Kovacs
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The Laogai Research Foundation

This article relates to Made in China

Prisoners in the Laogai system sewing products at a labor campIn her debut book, Made in China, Amelia Pang cites the Laogai Research Foundation (LRF) as a source for much of the information she presents about China's Laogai system (pronounced like loud-guy but without the "d"). The organization's website explains:

"The Laogai system is the Chinese network of prisons, factories, and farms designed to reform prisoners through forced labor. The Chinese government uses the Laogai to persecute political dissidents and maintain its dictatorship. Much of the treatment of Laogai prisoners violates internationally accepted norms for detention."

The LRF was founded in 1992 by Harry Wu. Born in 1937 in Shanghai, Wu lived an unremarkable life as a geologist until 1960, when his criticism of the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary led to his being marked as a counterrevolutionary by the Chinese government. He was arrested and sent to a labor camp without trial, where he remained a political prisoner for 19 years working as a forced laborer building roads,...

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