Tuesday, February 3, 2009

China's migrants and 毎日新聞

I'm just back from Bejiing, where everyone is very concerned about China's 26 million unemployed migrant workers. More to come, but I will say this: instead of temporary handouts, China needs to help create long-term job opportunities outside the factories for these hard-working people. It's not just that many have lost or sold their land. These workers have been an engine of economic growth for China for the past 20 years, but still have too few options beyond factory work. They need education and retraining, which the Chinese government has acknowledged. They also need security, in the form of a social safety net - another point Beijing has sagely realized. Most of all, they need to be treated equally to China's permanent urban residents. They must not be treated as second-class citizens. 日本語が読める方、毎日新聞の「中国貧困絶望工場」についての記事はこちらにあります。

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