China as a world manufacturer

Sanya-20170109-9.jpgEmily Ortiz

Our first lecture at Sanya University discussed the role of migrant workers in China’s factories and shops. According to the lecture, we learned that Chinese migrant workers travel to cities from their home villages, usually leaving their families behind, so that they might find jobs to support said families. These migrant workers find factory jobs, or any other low paying job available, and save up money for as long as necessary. Unfortunately, these jobs are hard to come by, and due to factory closings or other reasons, many people are forced out of jobs without notice, forcing them to try and find another job.

In this day and age, older workers looking for jobs are not as likely to find something. According to the clip we viewed during the lecture, workers over 35 are not sought out as much as workers under 35. This leaves older workers with no choice but to search for cheaper costs of living: in other words, older migrant workers are going back to their villages to be with their families.

But older migrant workers are not the only ones traveling back to their villages. More and more younger migrant workers are traveling back to their villages to be with their families, too. The rapid increase of migrant workers moving back to their villages can be problematic for the Chinese economy, because as a world manufacturer, they must be able to meet the manufacturing needs of the rest of the world.

This topic struck me as interesting not only because I was unaware of the state of the Chinese economy, but because I am deeply concerned about how the current state of US-China relations will develop and what impacts it will have on the world. It is clear that this is a mutually beneficial relationship, and that any drastic measures may hurt both countries, but I am concerned as to what will happen in the near future with our new presidency.

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