Slowing Economy Spurs Disquiet in China

Der Spiegel writes about some of the issues involved with the slowing of China’s economy, including increased unemployment and a subsequent rise in social unrest:

With the Chinese authorities fearing major unrest, municipalities in the region have been paying workers their outstanding wages with a surprising lack of bureaucracy. It is a program that China can easily afford. It has the world’s largest foreign currency reserves: about $1.9 trillion (€1.5 trillion).

The crowds jostling at train stations in the Pearl River Delta are almost as thick as they are during the traditional Chinese New Year festival. Migrant workers are returning to rural areas in large numbers, going home to their families to weather the crisis by growing crops in their own fields once again.

The global economic crisis is hitting China with such force that the government and party have been completely taken by surprise and are increasingly overwhelmed. Even though the police are under strict orders not to provoke demonstrators, friction is growing in Dongguan.

Last week, the Chinese stock market rose on news that economic planners may launch a new stimulus package.

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