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Red Dusk Xi Jinping’s China faces challenges of its own.


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The American Mind

Joel Kotkin

Apr. 12 2022


China now reprises some of the very class divides that sparked peasant rebellions in the past, as well as the Nationalist and Communist takeovers in the last century. Since 2000, many billionaires from tech and other sectors have entered the Communist Party in a seamless manner that Mao Tse-Tung would never have countenanced. China thus has two intertwined elites—one political, the other economic. Nearly 40% of private entrepreneurs also belong to the Communist Party.

The real challenge may come from further below. Two-thirds of all Chinese people are either peasants, agricultural laborers, industrial workers, or migrant laborers—and most work in the unregulated “informal economy.” Because of the generally poor quality of education in rural areas, migrants and their offspring typically lack the skills needed to find work in the growing sectors of the economy.

Around every major Chinese city, and many smaller ones, are the settlements and dingy apartments of migrant workers—estimated to number over 280 million—from the impoverished countryside. They come to work on construction sites, bus tables, and perform other tasks that are generally eschewed by the more fortunate Chinese who have urban hukou, or residence permits. As scholar Li Sun, now at the University of Leeds, points out in Rural Migration and Policy Intervention in China, China’s migrants often lack access to education and health care. They do many of the most dangerous jobs, but barely one in four has any form of insurance against injury at work. They often work sixty-hour weeks for barely $63 a week in pay, reprising the role played for millennia by their ancestors who built the wealth of the Middle Kingdom but shared in little of it.

This represents a profound challenge for a regime that fears any discord. There have been numerous protests by migrant laborers although activists often find themselves prosecuted for threatening “the social order.” Communist officials have been put in the awkward position of cracking down on Marxist study groups at universities, whose working-class advocacy conflicts with the policies of the nominally socialist government.



Oct. 20 2022

Progressive mind tricks brainwash U.S. to think communist China is a mighty empire, but behind the scenes skyscrapers crumble, food gets made from poison, and even a majestic aircraft carrier proves to be a floating Potemkin Village. Bill Whittle has the video, and a message of hope for the American republic.

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