The latest controversial point on Baha Mar was that the Chinese regularly use prisoners as laborers on projects in third world countries.
The story was based on an article by Brahma Chellaney. I first read it online Bahamas tabloid, Bahamas Press and asked Baha Mar about it here
A leading local newspaper ran the story on Tuesday, despite the story having no evidence to support it. Well, they were called out by the Chinese in this response from the embassy’s press secretary in which they address the article;
I am writing in reference to the editorial comment with the title of “Will due diligence be practiced?” in The Nassau Guardian dated September 14, 2010, quoting “Exporting convicts stains China’s reputation” written by Brahma Chellaney, which claims that convicts are employed as laborers on overseas projects in Sri Lanka, Maldives and countries in Africa, and that Chinese companies had been doing so at the instance of the Chinese government. In so doing, the comment leads to the imagination that the Chinese company involved in the Baha Mar project may be doing the same in The Bahamas.
It must be noted that the author made such shocking and sweeping allegations without any evidence. His allegations are both unfounded and totally untrue. Under China’s law, criminal convicts are prohibited from traveling abroad and Chinese companies are not permitted to hire people with criminal records to work on their overseas projects. These regulations are strictly enforced in practice.
Facts always speak louder than words. Please look at those Chinese workers who have been working tirelessly on the Bahamas National Stadium project. They are disciplined and diligent, winning full respect and high praises from the Bahamian society.
The Chinese Embassy fully respects each and every view expressed surrounding the Baha Mar project. However, such groundless accusations, which insult not only China, but also those countries having cooperation with us, go beyond tolerance. It is unfortunate that this article that falls short of accepted standards has found its way into a leading article of The Nassau Guardian. I hereby request, on behalf of the Embassy, that actions be taken as soon as possible by your newspaper to clarify and redress this regrettable error by providing a space to publish this letter.
Second Secretary and Press Officer
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China