BEIJING, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of Commerce Tuesday rejected foreign media reports that Chinese companies had been sending convicted criminals to work on projects abroad in order to prevent overcrowding in prisons.
This type of reporting was "nonsense with no facts or evidence," said the ministry said in an official statement on the its website.
Under China's codes on overseas contracted projects and labor cooperation, enterprises could only send staff who were eligible and had no criminal records, the statement said.
Convicted criminals and people sent to reeducation through labor camps were prohibited from traveling abroad under the Chinese law, the ministry said.
The rules had been strictly followed in practice, it said.
"Some media should respect facts and correct their errors," it said.
The statement did not name any news organizations, but sources in the ministry told Xinhua the reports were featured in the Japan Times, The Guardian, the Washington Times and Canada's Globe and Mail newspapers.
According to the Project Syndicate website, the syndicated article was written by Brahma Chellaney, a professor of Strategic Studies at the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi and author of "Asian Juggernaut: The Rise of China, India and Japan."