Young and Restless in China

Student Handout


Clearing The Smoke: Understanding China's Internal Migrations

Directions: Read the CNN article, Migrants Are China's "Factories Without Smoke." In groups of three, discuss the following questions and provide complete responses.

  • Why do you think Chinese migrant workers are labeled "factories without smoke"?

  • Gross domestic product (GDP) is the total market value of all final goods and services produced within the borders of a country in one year . Why is it significant that migrant workers account for 16% of China's GDP growth?

  • Migrant workers are employed in what type of jobs? Why do you think they work in these areas?

  • Like immigrants who have crossed oceans and borders in their pursuit of a new life, internal migrants are motivated by the same "push" factors that encourage them to leave their homes and "pull" factors that draw them to a new place. Identify the "push" and "pull" factors that are behind this Chinese internal migration.

  • Describe the quality of life for migrants in their new life. Provide examples from the article to support your depiction.

  • Reflecting beyond this article, what changes are created by China's pace of growth throughout Chinese society, socially, economically and environmentally?

  • In the final analysis, are the 150-200 million internal migrants a positive or negative phenomenon for:

    • China?
    • the workers themselves? Defend your position.

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