Jonathan Mirsky

Behind the Miracle

Scattered Sand: The Story of China’s Rural Migrants

By

Verso 302pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Next time you buy something dirt-cheap in Primark, spare a thought for the Chinese human being who made it. I say dirt-cheap advisedly because the employer almost certainly treated the maker like dirt. Not long ago a friend said she feared that China was ‘going to take over the world’. But almost half of China’s enormous Gross National Product is generated by rural people who leave their ever-poorer villages to hunt for work – badly paid and unremitting – in the parts of cities tourists never see. Then there are the tens of thousands of migrants from rural China living in the UK illegally, who do jobs scorned by Poles and Ukrainians.

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