China

Taiwan and China: promise and threat

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An island then of 6 million people, Taiwan was the last refuge to which the Nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) army and government fled after their defeat in the civil war by the Chinese Communist Party in 1949. Today, it is an island state of 24 million that is economically, socially and technically on a par with the world's most advanced economies, and with a GDP per head of 41,500 dollars. It is the world's 20th largest economy.

Great leap forward in worker militancy

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One of the biggest strikes in recent Chinese history took place last month when up to 40,000 shoe manufacturing workers at the Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings plant in Dongguan City walked out. They were protesting at underpayments by the company to their social security and housing funds.

The Taiwanese owned multinational is the largest producer of branded footwear in the world. Its three factories in China's Guangdong province alone employ 60,000 workers (globally it employed a total of 423,000 people in 2012).

China playing ketchup

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To better understand the dynamics underlying the current economic crisis you wouldn't always think to start with tomatoes.

Yet in a landmark case last month the EU it was ruled that tomato puree grown and packaged in China could be labelled as "produced in Italy" on the proviso that Italian water or salt was added somewhere in Europe. The case became hugely controversial, partly as a debating point in the Italian elections, but mainly because of the meteoric rise of China's tomato industry.

China's scattered migrants

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China's booming economy has been built on the back of migrant workers. Hsiao-Hung Pai talked to Sally Kincaid and Charlie Hore about her new book and the lives of China's migrant population

Why did you choose the title Scattered Sand for your book?

The idea of Scattered Sand came originally from Sun Yatsen, the founding father of the Guomindang (Nationalist) Party - so it came from the Republican Revolution of 1911. The idea was when he was talking about the Chinese people as being scattered sands - not united as a nation against Western imperialism.

Getting China Wrong?

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Debates about China have often been focused on those who say its growth can go on for decades and those who predict imminent doom. Here Mike Haynes argues that neither approach is correct, but so far the Chinese leadership has been more adept at understanding its growth than outside commentators

If you have a mobile phone or a computer then there is a good chance that it has been made in China. This is where top Apple products come from - the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. These embody some of the cleverest ideas of modern technology and judged this way a lot of people think that China's growth is something completely unusual. Whereas a generation ago China was one of the world's poorest economies, today it is jumping stages to become one of the richest. This idea is causing consternation both among those who support global capitalism and those who oppose it.

The Ousting of Bo Xilai

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The very public demotion of Bo Xilai, former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) boss of the south western province of Chongqing, marks the biggest public split among China's rulers since 1989. Then a split in the top leadership helped spark a major nationwide revolt from below, inspired by the students in Tiananmen Square, that culminated in troops gunning down protesters in Beijing.

Over the last few years Bo had built up something of a personality cult around his nostalgic appeals to the egalitarian image of Mao's China - by implication a criticism of the corruption rampant among present-day officials. Later this year the CCP will choose a new collective central leadership of nine men (there are no female candidates in prospect). The assumption was that Bo was in line for one of these places.

China's migrant women

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Breakneck industrial expansion has transformed women's lives in China over the last generation. They live very different lives to their mothers and grandmothers but face enormous hardship in China's huge factories

If you are reading this article online the chances are that some part of the technology you are using will have been produced at one of the Foxconn factories in China.

This company made the international news last year due to a number of suicides among its workers. One of the largest Foxconn factories is in the city of Shenzhen in South East China. Between 300,000 and 450,000 workers are employed in this massive industrial park - a walled campus within Shenzhen dubbed "Foxconn city".

China: miracle and misery

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Last month David Cameron visited China in an effort to encourage trade with Britain, but barely mentioned the touchy issue of human rights. Hsiao-Hung Pai analyses the "miracle" of Chinese economic growth and the human suffering that underpins it.

Last month a huge British trade delegation led by David Cameron and four of his cabinet ministers, all wearing their Remembrance Day poppies, went on their Journey to the East to promote British business interests and sign trade deals for British capitalists.

Band of warring brothers

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The spending review comes at a time of high international tension, as governments around the world compete to escape economic ruin. Jane Hardy analyses the global "currency wars".

Financial pundits have given up scrabbling for the green shoots of recovery. New York professor Nouriel Roubini said on 14 October, "The growth rate is so low it's going to feel like a recession even if technically it's not a recession." On top of that he has predicted that there is a 35 to 40 percent chance of a double dip recession. The recovery in the US, the heartland of global capitalism, looked extremely fragile. In mid-October the dollar hit a 15-year low and unemployment increased, and 18 months into the so-called recovery jobs are still being shed.

Letter from China

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After the recent suicides of ten Foxconn workers, Li Qiang reports on conditions at the iPhone sweatshop.

Yet another Foxconn worker jumped to his death in June, bringing the total number of suicides at the company this year to ten. In the light of these events, some have denounced Foxconn, makers of Apple's iPad and iPhone, as a "sweatshop". Others argue that, compared to similar manufacturers, Foxconn can boast relatively humane management and fairly good benefits.

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