Archive for the ‘industrial’ Category

China’s Annual New Year Migration “Biggest Ever” Due To Economy

January 22, 2009

The largest annual migration on earth is now in progress as China prepares for the Lunar or Asian New Year.

China has a migrant population of several million workers who mostly leave rural homes for industrial and manufacturing areas to work in places like  Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province.

The migrant workers are among 188 million people heading home for the holidays.  To be in one’s family home at New Years makes for a “lucky” year, according to Chinese culture and belief.

This year the migration started weeks earlier than normal as China closes shop due to the troubled economy.  Many workers ill not return to work this year for the same reason: the economy is grinding downward.

Most experts say this is the largest migration ever in China because of the global economic downturn.  Railroads are overwhelmed by the number of travelers.

“Last year, I went back home five or six days before the holiday started. This year, I’m going back about 20 days earlier,” said migrant Huang Mingren as he waited for his train, three weeks ago.

Now many travelers are saying they have no jobs to return to.

“‘I’ll go home and stay for the first time in more than 20 years,” said Le Hong. “No jobs in city any more.”

China fears that social unrest and dissent will grow due to the economic troubles and several important anniversaries.  Thirty years ago, Chinese students started a pro-democracy uprising in Tiananmen Square.

Tianasquare.jpg
Tiananmen Square in 1989.

By John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Related:
CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/0
1/22/china.migration.newyear/index.html

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China’s jobless migrants go home early for holiday
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 Economic Slowdown Already Sees 600,000 Chinese Migrants Relocate
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 China’s Slowing Growth, Unemployment Leads Toward Social Unrest
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Shortage of trains strains China’s holiday rush, simmering unrest problem

A migrant worker nears the train station in Guangzhou, southern ... 
A migrant worker nears the train station in Guangzhou, southern China’s Guangdong province.  Some 188 million Chinese are expected to squeeze onto China’s train network to return home for the Chinese Lunar New Year.(AP Photo/William Foreman)

Five die in China chemical plant explosion

January 3, 2009

At least five people were killed in an explosion at a chemical plant in east China, state media reported Saturday.

The blast happened in Wucheng County in Shandong province on Thursday afternoon and killed one person on the spot, injuring 13 others, the official Xinhua news agency said, quoting government sources in the county.

Four others — all migrant workers — died later in hospital, Xinhua said.

AFP/Xinhua

An investigation has been launched into the cause of the blast.

China’s work safety record is notoriously bad. Thousands of people die every year in mines, factories and on construction sites, according to official sources.

At least five people have been killed in an explosion at a chemical ... 
At least five people have been killed in an explosion at a chemical plant in east China, state media has reported.(AFP/Xinhua)