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New Internationalist

Labour the point

Each time a person becomes rich, you can bet your bottom dollar that it has come at a cost to the wealth or health of others. As an upper class of millionaires emerges in any country, they often do so off the backs of imported labour, creating a layer of second-class citizens. China is no exception. More than 120 million rural workers have now left their land and migrated to factories and developments both inside and outside their country. Once there, they can earn a better living than in their fields by mortgaging their bodies to their bosses. But what are these capitalist realities doing to socialist principles? And is the Chinese Communist Party bringing their people out of poverty or throwing away a whole generation of its citizens to feed capitalism's new machines? Through a range of revealing discussions, Monina Wong, from Labour Action China, helps us find some answers.

  • In foreign policy, the Chinese Government is substituting development aid for diplomacy. Nicola Bullard, a senior associate with Focus on the Global South, and Daniel Bibiero from the Mozambiquen NGO Justicia Ambientale investigate the results.
  • When Chinese state-owned enterprises export Chinese workers to develop and construct their overseas projects, cultural clashes and conflict result. Yat Paol, who works with the NGO called the Bismark Ramu Group in Madang Province in Papua New Guinea, lays out the concerns held by Papuans about the Ramu nickel mine development, owned and operated from China.
  • Then today's microphones turn to Iran, to hear Pakistani sociologist Farida Shaheed explain why women are still being stoned to death, and the international campaign that's now developing to stop it.

Carrying on with the Asian and Pacific themes in today's program, the music that you'll be listening to comes from the CD Nankuru Naisa - in which Bob Brozman's island-beats intertwine with the Japanese songs of Takashi Hirayasu

Listen now (click the play button left) or download the program (click this link)

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