According to the Guardian’s Beijing correspondent, Tom Phillips, labour disputes are rising and workers are abandoning cities for the country amid fears a crashing economy could cause political and social unrest.
Source: China’s migrant workers head home as Beijing faces an economic storm | World news | The Guardian
This is an insightful, subjective assessment, looking at one struggling family as a case study.
With collapsing financial markets, the widely predicted ‘hard-landing’ for China already looks in play. Meanwhile, the government are still painting a rosy picture. But there is speculation that the Chinese Premier is under political threat.
Since 1948, China has had one political party, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In recent years, influential families with roots in the CCP have become staggeringly wealthy. The suppression of individual liberties has been contained on the back of improved quality of life for the masses. But if the economy goes into serious decline, all bets are off, and it becomes highly dangerous territory.
Personally, I still believe that China can reflate her economy with central policy measures.
I would not be so quick as the Guardian and other overly gleeful commentators brimming with schaedenfreude to write off the Chinese economy just yet.
Certainly those poor people forced to return home to the rural lifestyles that they thought they had escaped from will not be happy.
The idea that they are all going to revolt and blame the Chinese Government is fanciful in the extreme.
In the first place, for good or ill, the Chinese Government has tried to compress 100 years of progress into a 10 year period, something that has never been done before in the history of the world.
Yes mistakes have been made but looking at the UK and US banking crisis and the deliberate plundering of the respective exchequors to enrich a few plutocrats, we are in a glasshouse throwing stones.
With massive reserves, investments overseas and the necessary changes in economic policy, like the Terminator they will be back.
Time and again Western commentators, politicians and the media have underestimated the resilience of the Chinese economy, the abilities of their people, the strength of their character, and the level of their technological progress.
This time will be no different but the pain that ordinary people in China will have to bear will be immense.
There will have to be change, of course, as that country moves up the food-chain to a higher point on the value chain and to a higher wage economy.