The New Rules: China’s Factory Unrest Signals Peak of Cheap Labor

China’s spreading labor unrest is rightfully portrayed in the Western press as an immense challenge to that country’s status as the “world’s factory floor.” But to Beijing’s bosses, it’s likewise a tool for addressing rising income inequality, which is why the Communist Party has remained most reticent to address it head on. Such a hands-off approach carries additional dangers, however, the most prominent being that, once emerging labor activists get a taste for pressing their collective demands, China’s political leaders could find themselves riding a Solidarnosc-like trade-union tiger that’s not easily tamed. China has long suffered isolated sparks of labor […]

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