James Forsyth

Already twenty million sacked Chinese workers have headed back to the countryside

Already twenty million sacked Chinese workers have headed back to the countryside
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China’s rapid economic growth has largely kept a lid on the social tensions bubbling away there, underneath the surface. But with the world economy going into recession—which will hit China, with its export-dependant growth, particularly hard—these tensions could boil over.

The Chinese government’s recently released figures, which are almost certainly an underestimate, show that already 20 million workers have lost their jobs in the cities and moved back to the countryside. One has to imagine that this is stretching the social fabric rather.

Official figures also show that growth in 2008 was the slowest it has been for seven years. The Chinese government is predicting that 2009 will be the toughest year of the decade. The contradictions inherent in China’s modernisation project will, I suspect, become apparent before the end of the year.

Hat Tip: Matthew Continetti

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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