Archive for the ‘migrants’ Category

China’s Love/Hate Relationship With The U.S.

March 13, 2009

China has a love-hate-envy relationship with the United States.

The Chinese people love American culture and can’t get enough of the American movies, videos, and music — much of it on the internet.

Yet the Chinese government blocks much of the internet because the cultural trends of these same Chinese people, most of them young and with growing affluence, worries older leaders in Beijing.

China envys the U.S. and its powerful military and almost unchallenged influence in the world.  Leaders crave such influence and dispatched the first ever long-range naval mission far from China in modern times when ships went to fight piracy near Somalia last December.

China is building an aircraft carrier, its first ever, and the incident at sea between Cninese ships and USNC  Impeccable last weekend was no accident.  China wants the U.S. and the world to know that it is claiming sovereignty over a vast expanse of sea.

This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean ... 
This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean surveillance ship USNS Impeccable (T-AGOS-23). Five Chinese vessels maneuvered dangerously close to a US Navy ship in the South China Sea on Sunday, March 8, 2009, approaching within 25 feet of the unarmed surveillance ship, the Pentagon said.(AFP/NVNS)

China aslo loves and fears the U.S. dollar.

China has so much reserve money that it has to be invested, and in many ways, that almost always has meant buying U.S. Treasuries.

China has invested almost $1 billion in U.S. bonds.

This huge holding has to worry the Chinese since the crash of the stock market and the global economic recession — which the Chinese blame on U.S. debt and greed.

Luo Ping, a director-general of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, tried to explain how China feels about the recession and China’s continuing purchases of U.S. debt:

“We hate you guys. Once you start issuing $1 trillion-$2 trillion… we know the dollar is going to depreciate, so we hate you guys but there is nothing much we can do….

Ping, “whose English tends towards the colloquial,” according to the Financial Times’ Henny Sender, also asked “Except for US Treasuries, what can you hold? Gold? You don’t hold Japanese government bonds or UK bonds. US Treasuries are the safe haven. For everyone, including China, it is the only option.”

The global recession means China’s exports have ground to a halt and along with that, many factories and factory jobs stand idle.

About 20 million  Chinese people, many of them migrant laborers, returned home last January and are out of work.  China is rushing aid to the unemployment and fears social unrest.

The Independent (UK) reported in early March:

“China’s growth has dropped from 13 per cent in 2007 to 6.8 per cent in the most recent quarter. The rapid slowdown in the global economy, and in the US in particular, has hit China’s export-led economy, which has been at the heart of wider Asian growth in recent years. While extremely high compared with growth levels in mature economies, the slower pace is well below the 8 per cent the Government needs to create jobs for the millions of rural workers heading for China’s cities.The slowdown has left 20 million rural labourers unemployed, with 7 million college graduates also seeking work. The authorities are desperate to stop sporadic clashes between police and protesting workers turning into more general unrest against the Communist Party.”

But the recent economic woes of the United States undoubtedly worry the Chinese — and it is not a surprise that Premier Wen Jiabao said on Friday, “We have loaned a huge amount of money to the United States,” said Wen at a news conference in Beijing. “Of course, we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I’m a little bit worried. I would like for you [a Western reporter] to call on the United States to honor its word and stay a credible nation and ensure the safety of Chinese assets.”

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

China's Premier Wen Jiabao gestures as he answers a question ... 
China’s Premier Wen Jiabao gestures as he answers a question at a news conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing March 13, 2009.REUTERS/Jason Lee (CHINA POLITICS SOCIETY)

Related:
Obama Wasting America’s Strategic World Power; China Surges Despite Economy
.
Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

 Global Economy Weakness Leading To Social Unrest

Stimulus: China Will Fund U.S. Debt But “We Hate You Guys”

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORL
D/asiapcf/03/13/china.wen/index.html

China Jobless Migrants: 26 Million; U.S. Unemployed Maybe 11 Million

February 2, 2009

China now has between 20 and 26 unemployed migrants.

The population of China is about 1.3 Billion.  The U.S. population is about 0.3  Billion or 300 Million.

Many workers left their jobs last week to return home for the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival with no plans to return to the factories.

Their jobs are gone.

China fears social unrest with such a large and growing mob of unemployed, and is working a complex package of new job training and stimulus…

*****************

China’s economic downturn has now cost the jobs of 20 million of the migrant workers whose labour fuels the country’s vast export industry and a monthly survey has showed employers are cutting staff at the fastest rate since 2004.

But the Communist Party leadership, anxious about social unrest and determined to maintain the higher living standards people have become used to in the last decade, revealed it has pumped up public spending to restart the economy and early indicators showed the decline may be slowing.

Premier Wen Jiabao, on an official visit to London, said the world’s third-largest economy was stabilising after a sharp slowdown in the second half of 2008. He told the Financial Times in an interview: “During the last 10 days of December it started to get better.”

Chen Xiwen, a top adviser to the Party on policies for China’s 750-million-strong farming population, said official surveys found about 15.3 percent of the total migrant labour pool working in cities – some 20 million people — had returned jobless to the countryside. That compared with earlier figures that said 10 million lost their jobs last year.

Read the rest:
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busine
ss/economics/article5638893.ece

From The Wall Street Journal:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1233599
77495740199.html

****************

From AP

An estimated 26 million desperately poor rural Chinese are jobless after pinning their hopes on factory jobs that dried up due to the global economic slowdown, an official said Monday, noting that widespread unemployment could threaten the country’s social stability.

The figures were announced one day after Beijing warned of “possibly the toughest year” since the turn of the century, calling for development of agriculture and rural areas to offset the economic fallout. Though many Chinese cities have seen double-digit growth in recent years, the countryside has lagged far behind, forcing peasants to seek urban factory jobs churning out goods that are sold around the world.

But a recent government survey showed that slightly more than 15 percent of China‘s estimated 130 million migrant workers have returned to their hometowns and are now unemployed, said Chen Xiwen, director of the Central Rural Work Leading Group, a central government advisory body. Another 5 or 6 million new migrants enter the work force each year, he added.

“So, if we put those figures together, we have roughly 25 to 26 million rural migrant workers who are now coming under pressures for employment,” he said. “So from that perspective, ensuring job creation and maintenance is ensuring the stability of the countryside.”

In comparison, the U.S. unemployment rate climbed to a 16-year high of 7.2 percent in December, meaning about 11.1 million Americans are without jobs, or less than half the number of unemployed migrants in China.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090202/ap_
on_re_as/as_china_stability

Related from CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD
/asiapcf/02/02/china.jobs/index.html

Japan To Jobless Immigrants: Just Go Home; Global “Reverse Migration”

January 23, 2009

As the global economy continues to worsen , and more people are unemployed, a kind of reverse migration has started.

Chinse migrants that have traveled for decades to far away jobs are leaving places where jobs no longer exists and heading into the countryised where they were born.

“This is no longer home.  This was my parents home was.  But there is no job for me anywhere else.  So I come back home,” said Qang Le.

In Japan, immigrats not born in Japan are being told to “just go home” when they lose their jobs.

Hundreds of millions of people are now starting a kind a new migration, some experts say.

****

From UPI:

Some immigrants in Japan say they are leaving for their homelands because of the impact the economic crisis has had on the Asian country.

 

Brazilian national Paulino Onuma said his family of four is relocating from Japan to Brazil after he and his wife lost their jobs, The Washington Post (NYSE:WPO) said Friday.

“We have no desire to go home,” Onuma, 29, said. “We are only going back because of the situation.”

“The feeling of the city is that if foreigners have lost their jobs, then they should leave the country,” fellow Brazilian immigrant Kooji Horinouti said of the situation in the Japanese city of Ueda.

The Japanese government has actually begun implementing programs designed to help jobless immigrants remain in Japan despite the economic downturn, the Post reported.

Japan Immigration Policy Institute director Hidenori Sakanaka told the newspaper that marks a drastic change in standard policy.

“Japan has a long history of rejecting foreign residents who try to settle here,” he said. “Normally, the response of the government would have been to encourage these jobless people to just go home.”

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

.
China’s jobless migrants go home early for holiday
.
 Economic Slowdown Already Sees 600,000 Chinese Migrants Relocate
.
 China’s Slowing Growth, Unemployment Leads Toward Social Unrest
.
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)

Shortage of trains strains China’s holiday rush, simmering unrest problem

January 21, 2009

Every year at this time, China’s rail system groans under a huge surge of holiday traffic. Travelers endure waits of hours — even days — in the winter chill to buy tickets. Once aboard trains, they overcrowd seats. Some sit in aisles. Others are forced to stand for trips of a day or longer.

Veteran travelers such as Wang Ping plan ahead for the arduous trips, knowing that the trains are so crowded that even getting to the bathroom can be a heroic feat.

“You eat very little. You drink very little,” she said. “There are too many people sitting in the aisle, so it’s very difficult to go to the toilet.”

The travails of travel around the week-long Lunar New Year festival, China‘s most important annual holiday, are more than a passing irritant to the 188 million Chinese who’ll board trains during the 40-day peak period. They’re also of concern to China’s leaders, who worry that holiday emotions could turn ugly and trigger social unrest at railway stations.

Severe snowstorms a year ago stranded tens of millions of passengers.

So it was little surprise that even President Hu Jintao weighed in with some sharp words for railway authorities before the holiday, which is also known as the Spring Festival.

By Tim Johnson, McClatchy Newspapers

” The Ministry of Railways must use its brains to work out many measures to help the people,” Hu said on Jan. 15 . “They should make these measures known to the public in order to lessen social tension and ensure the Spring Festival mission is completed in a smooth manner.”

As in past years during the holiday, complaints have mounted this year of under-the-table sales by rail employees to scalpers. One angry traveler took a video on his cell phone of a railway employee refusing to sell him a ticket. The video clip, which spread rapidly around Chinese Web sites, shows the stone-faced railway employee ignoring angry travelers outside the window as he prints out tickets. Postings with the video accused the employee of intending to sell tickets on the black market.

Sensitivities are so high that the Railway Ministry called a news conference and apologized for “hurting the feelings” of passengers. It vowed to probe illegal ticket sales.

Deputy Railways Minister Wang Zhiguo said 30,000 police officers were keeping order at railway stations, and that they had detained 2,390 scalpers and confiscated 78,200 tickets.

Wang said ticket vendors are barred from carrying mobile phones to their windows to prevent them from colluding with scalpers.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20090
121/wl_mcclatchy/3150100_1

Economy, Reputation Causing China’s Toymakers To Take a Beating

January 18, 2009

“Too much lead in Chinese toys.”  Thats what Mary Orr said when we asked her why she wasn’t buying Chinese toys this year for her son Matt’s birthday.  But mostly, Moms and Dads have less money this year and that means fewer toys…

In the U.S. it is too little money so less happiness.  In China it is too little money so no jobs and perhaps migrating away from the industrial areas and back to “home.”  Chinese authorities fear social unrest….

***************

China’s toy exports have taken a beating from the global financial crisis, with demand shrinking in the key US and European markets, state media reported Sunday.

In the period from January to November of last year, China’s shipments of toys abroad totalled eight billion dollars, an increase of just 2.5 percent from the same period a year earlier, the People’s Daily said on its website.

This compares with the first 11 months of 2007, when toy exports had increased by a blistering 20.3 percent, the paper said, citing customs authorities.

In November alone, toy exports declined 8.6 percent from the same month a year earlier, according to the paper.

A worker in a toy factory in Shenzhen. China's toy exports ... 
A worker in a toy factory in Shenzhen. China’s toy exports have taken a beating from the global financial crisis, with demand shrinking in the key US and European markets(AFP/File/Wang Lei)

Registered toy exporters plunged by nearly half last year to 4,211, the paper said, reflecting how weakening overseas demand is wreaking havoc on China‘s domestic economy.

The paper quoted customs officials as saying that apart from the global slowdown, toy exports had also been impacted by a series of recent product quality scandals.

For example, in mid-2007, US importers of Chinese toys issued recalls after some were found to be coated with toxic lead paint. Similar products were later banned in several countries.

The paper said that the United States and the European Union account for two thirds of China’s toy exports.

People’s Daily and AFP

Keeping the spirit alive 
Jobless Chinese toymakers turned vendors.  Photo by  Barbara Demick, The Los Angeles Times

Related:
China’s jobless migrants go home early for holiday

Economic Slowdown Already Sees 600,000 Chinese Migrants Relocate

China seen facing wave of unrest in 2009

China’s Toymakers: No Joy This Holiday

A migrant worker nears the train station in Guangzhou, southern ... 
A migrant worker nears the train station in Guangzhou, southern China’s Guangdong province, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009. Some 188 million Chinese are expected to squeeze onto China’s train network in the coming weeks to return home for the Chinese Lunar New Year.(AP Photo/William Foreman)

“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.

For Huang and many others, the trip begins at the crowded station in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, often called the world’s factory floor because it’s China’s key manufacturing base. This is where a huge number of China’s 160 million migrant workers churn out Nike shoes, iPods and Nokia mobile phones.

China’s jobless migrants go home early for holiday

January 8, 2009

Some hefted their luggage on bamboo shoulder poles. Others carried their things in plastic buckets. All were migrant workers hurrying to get home Thursday before China‘s Lunar New Year festival — a holiday that triggers one of the world’s biggest annual migrations of humans.

Although the celebration is more than two weeks away, the travelers had to get an early start in a country where 188 million people — more than the population of Russia — were expected to squeeze onto trains during the hectic season.

Many workers were forced to go home even earlier this year because their factories went belly up or their assembly lines were idle amid the global economic crisis.

By WILLIAM FOREMAN, Associated Press Writer

A migrant worker nears the train station in Guangzhou, southern ... 
A migrant worker nears the train station in Guangzhou, southern China’s Guangdong province, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009. Some 188 million Chinese are expected to squeeze onto China’s train network in the coming weeks to return home for the Chinese Lunar New Year.(AP Photo/William Foreman)

“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.

For Huang and many others, the trip begins at the crowded station in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, often called the world’s factory floor because it’s China’s key manufacturing base. This is where a huge number of China’s 160 million migrant workers churn out Nike shoes, iPods and Nokia mobile phones.

“Lots of factories have been closing. The toy factory I was working at is about to go under, so the boss just told us to leave early,” added Huang, a wiry 32-year-old native of central Hunan province.

Many migrants also hit the road early because they were worried about the weather. Last year, ice storms paralyzed the transport system in southern China during the peak holiday season, forcing millions to delay or cancel their plans. About 200,000 were stranded at Guangzhou’s station and spent nights outside in a freezing drizzle.

Related:
Economic Slowdown Already Sees 600,000 Chinese Migrants Relocate

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090108/ap_on_re_as/as_chi
na_migrant_woes;_ylt=Ai0bY_Ld8gGAM1VlAjbKjZJvaA8F

Economic Slowdown Already Sees 600,000 Chinese Migrants Relocate

January 8, 2009

About 600,000 migrant workers left south China‘s industrial heartland last year as the economic crisis caused exports to shrink and forced factories to close, a senior official said Thursday.

The number of migrants departing Guangdong province, one of the world’s top makers of toys and electronic appliances, accelerated through 2008 as the global situation worsened, said provincial deputy governor Huang Longyun.

by Peter Harmsen, AFP

About 600,000 migrant workers left south China's industrial ... 
About 600,000 migrant workers left south China’s industrial heartland of Guangdong last year as the economic crisis caused exports to shrink and forced factories to close, a senior official has said.(AFP/Peter Parks)

“This year the situation is more serious than at any other time since the start of the decade, indeed since the Asian financial crisis,” he told a briefing in Beijing, referring to regional turmoil that broke out in 1997.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090108/bs_afp/fina
nceeconomychinaguangdonglabour_newsmlmmd

China seen facing wave of unrest in 2009

January 6, 2009

China faces surging protests and riots in 2009 as rising unemployment stokes discontent, a state-run magazine said in a blunt warning of the hazards to Communist Party control from a sharp economic downturn.

The unusually stark report in this week’s Outlook (Liaowang) Magazine, issued by the official Xinhua news agency, said faltering growth could spark anger among millions of migrant workers and university graduates left jobless.

By Chris Buckley
Reuters

A migrant worker carries his belongings to board a train at ... 
A migrant worker carries his belongings to board a train at a railway station in Taiyuan, Shanxi, January 4, 2009. China faces surging protests and riots in 2009 as rising unemployment stokes discontent, a state-run magazine said in a blunt warning of the hazards to Communist Party control from a sharp economic downturn.REUTERS/Stringer

“Without doubt, now we’re entering a peak period for mass incidents,” a senior Xinhua reporter, Huang Huo, told the magazine, using the official euphemism for riots and protests.

“In 2009, Chinese society may face even more conflicts and clashes that will test even more the governing abilities of all levels of the Party and government.”

President Hu Jintao has vowed to make China a “harmonious society,” but his promise is being tested by rising tension over shrinking jobs and incomes, as well as long-standing anger over corruption and land seizures.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090106/
wl_nm/us_china_unrest_6

China to Bolster Rural Training as Migrants Lose Jobs

January 3, 2009

China is putting greater emphasis on vocational education in rural areas this year to ensure migrant workers who have lost their jobs in cities have access to practical skills-training programs when they return home.

China aims to provide as many as 90 million continuing training courses for adults, many of them related to rural skills transfers and techniques, the education ministry said today in a statement on China’s central government Web site.

From Bloomberg

A cooling economy is forcing companies to cut jobs and as many as 20 million rural residents who had moved to cities to work may have return home this year, economists estimate. China’s manufacturing contracted for a fifth month in December as recessions in the U.S., Europe and Japan slowed demand for exports, the CLSA China Purchasing Managers’ Index said.

“There’s a need to actively promote vocational training, vigorously develop adult education and distance learning for urban and rural workers,” the statement said. There’s a need “to further strengthen and develop skill training for farmers.”

China will expand secondary vocational education and aims to recruit 8.4 million students this year, the statement said.

The government also wants to increase ideological and political education for university students, focusing on courses on Marxist theory, the ministry said.