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Fascinating feature article from the South China Morning Post on the development of unions in China. The paradox of a country that is governed by a communist party which tends to align its interests with big business has always been apparent, but during the period of rapid economic expansion and rampant investment it was not a problem that manifested itself. However, with a shrinking workforce and rising costs, the tension between labour and management is increasing. Worker protests have tripled in three years. “The authorities face a dilemma between raising living standards for ordinary people, a key part of their claim to a right to rule, and ensuring healthy profits for local industries, often with close official connections.”

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