The factories that have powered China’s economic miracle are reeling from the global slowdown, presenting the incoming leadership in Beijing with a restless workforce at a defining moment in the country’s growth story.
In the sprawling Foxconn factory in the industrial hub of Shenzen, where 500,000 people churn out electronics for Apple and others, the squeeze from slackening demand in Western markets is preying on hard-pressed workers’ minds.
The timing could not be worse for the Communist Party, whose legitimacy stands on its record of lifting hundreds of millions from poverty through rapid-fire job creation and economic development.
For the decade under President Hu Jintao, who will step down after a party congress starting November 8, this objective was largely met as an unprecedented boom propelled China from sixth to second spot in the world economy…
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