In France, people joke that the delocalisation of textile factories to China has already happened, but the Chinese plants are not in Guangdong - but Paris. Thousands of illegal immigrants work in underground textile and leather factories, earning Euro400-Euro500 ($4,170- $5,200) a month for a 14-hour, seven-day week, and their employers pay no taxes or social benefits. Paris is the European city with the largest number of Chinese residents, with the greater Paris region accounting for about 60 per cent of the Chinese in France, which the authorities put at 450,000 and unofficial estimates at 600,000. Economics drives the smuggling of workers, who give these plants a cost advantage legal factories cannot match. According to official estimates, 5,000 to 6,000 illegals arrive each year in the greater Paris region, each paying between Euro12,000-Euro13,000, a debt they repay through years of indentured labour. Dong Liwen, 28, a spokesman for the illegals who want a regularisation of their situation, said that his family paid US$10,000 to the snakeheads. 'I received Euro500 a month because two of my relatives ran the factory. Others were paid just one euro an hour. 'You could not go out or buy anything, you did not know where you were and many of us knew nothing about Paris except the names of the Metro stations,' he said. The illegals are housed in dormitories close to their work and fear to go out, because they lack any papers and most do not speak French. Once they have paid the debt, they can leave the factory and set up on their own, using finance provided by relatives and associations from their native place. On a visit to Shanghai last month, former French premier Laurent Fabius said that Chinese immigrants to France were quiet and discreet and had not caused problems. 'Public opinion has not focused on Chinese but this could change in the future.'