As the Chinese economy adjusts to new economic realities, some of the costs are beginning to be felt.
In China’s North-East where the economy is dominated by state owned enterprises in staid heavy industries, workers are moving to more promising regions and local leaders are worried.
However with the Chinese economy pivoting, things aren’t doing so well in the more laissez-faire South Eastern provinces either with workers giving up their precious New Year’s holidays to protest unpaid wages and unfair treatment.
For the Chinese government, this worker unrest is a serious problem. How the country’s leaders try to address the causes could well have global ramifications as the world’s economy faces the reality of massive economic overcapacity.
Out of the box thinking is needed, but it may not be enough to overcome the fears and needs of ordinary, angry workers. What is clear is that an economic pivot is never smooth.