Chinese Manufacturing Giant Outgrows its Cradle
It’s not just the global slowdown. In Guangdong’s Pearl River delta, where the capitalist drive was launched on the coattails of rich neighbor Hong Kong, a new realization is taking hold — raw materials cost more, labor and environmental laws have grown stricter, exporters are getting fewer tax breaks, and a string of product recalls have raised questions about Chinese quality.
So China has a sweeping plan to transform the region. Rather than bail out weak, labor-intensive factories, it wants them to move to the interior so that Guangdong can become the country’s auto maker and its Silicon Valley.
“We have a policy to empty the cage for the new birds,” said Wan Qingliang, a provincial vice governor.
The financially troubled world is watching, especially the United States, China’s biggest trading partner, something Wan possibly had in mind in meeting foreign reporters for a rare briefing.