China’s workers abandon the city as Beijing faces an economic storm

Labour disputes are rising and some workers are leaving for the country amid fears a crashing economy could cause political and social unrest

The Guardian
Date: 27 August 2015
By: Tom Phillips in Nanqijia village

Liu Weiqin swapped rural poverty for life on the dusty fringes of China’s capital eight years ago

A scrap dealer fills a bag with plastic bottles in Nanqijia village on the outskirts of Beijing. Photograph: Adam Dean
A scrap dealer fills a bag with plastic bottles in Nanqijia village on the outskirts of Beijing. Photograph: Adam Dean

hoping – like millions of other migrants – for a better future.

On Thursday she will board a bus with her two young children and abandon her adopted home.

“There’s no business,” complained the 36-year-old, who built a thriving junkyard in this dilapidated recycling village only to watch it crumble this year as plummeting scrap prices bankrupted her family.

“My husband will stick around a bit longer to see if there is any more work to be found. I’m taking the kids.”

Weeks of stock market turmoil have focused the world’s attention on the health of the Chinese economy and raised doubts over Beijing’s ability to avert a potentially disastrous economic crisis, both at home and aboard. The financial upheaval has been so severe it has even put a question mark over the future of premier Li Keqiang, who took office less than three years ago.     [FULL  STORY]

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