China on the Move-번역:강경원님

It is said that China's annual mass migration is the biggest diaspora of all time. However it is not limited to migrating within China. Since the door opened, many people have officially and unofficially gone through it heading for many parts of the world.

  Privatisation has made several million SOE workers redundant. Officially the figure is small, but unofficially, China experts say it is more than 30 million.

  Regarding occupational safety and health, though relatively lucrative for workers (many migrants), mining is far more dangerous in China than anywhere else in the world, with explosions, floods, and cave-ins causing regular deaths- officially around 5,000 annually, but possibly been overtaken by manufacturing as the biggest contributor to pneumoconiosis in Guangdong province. In the past mining and metallurgy posed the highest OSH risks, but as FDI has flooded into China, especially since liberalisation, light industries, in particular processing semi-precious stones, contributes most to lung diseases. Although pneumo-preventable, and China introduce a law on preventing occupational disease in 2002, it is not effectively enforced. This results in more than half the work places surveyed recently by Guangdong's Hospital for Treatment and Prevention of Occupational Diseases exceeding levels of dust that it is safe to work in.

  The explosion of production in China is creating other problems. While trade and investment have been opened up, unemployment, crime, corruption, and environmental pollution have also blossomed in recent times, largely as a result of open door related activity e.g. unemployment combined with (the relatively new phenomenon) inflation encourage crime, and privatisation is a green light for many kinds of corruption. The vast amounts of energy needed to fuel the factories, combined with under-managed or non-managed waste from a range of toxic industrial chemicals is wreaking havoc on the environment.

  China is changing, but whether the country can cope with the pollution, and whether the workers will ever be 'masters of their own destiny' as routinely spouted by the media are moot points It is strictly illegal to form trade unions independent of the CCP and there is no right to bargaining collectively with management.