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China's Economic Crossroads

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 26 September 2013

The Chinese government plans to have 200 million graduates by 2020. Although this number still needs to be seen in its context of the 1.3 billion Chinese population, it is still a large increase in skilled workers from the 1 million graduates in 2000. But cracks in the plan are being shown by the class of 2013. Seven million people finished university this year and many are finding that the types of job they want aren't available. Many employers also can't find the workers they want to fill their jobs. This is an illustration of China's economy at a turning point in its development. The rapid economic expansion of the past thirty years, based on cheap labour making goods for export, is slowing down and something needs to come and fill the gap it is leaving behind. In this week's In Business, Peter Day travels to the centre of China, the city of Zhengzhou in Henan province. For centuries the city has been known as the crossroads of the country, situated on the Yellow River and where the north-south and east-west railways meet. It's an apt place perhaps to investigate China's economy at its own crossroads.

Producer: Charlotte Pritchard.

  • Contributors to this programme

    Ju Lei  and An Dan

    graduates looking for jobs at Zhengzhou Job Fair



    Wang Huiyao

    Director General of the Centre for China and Globalisation, a think tank in Beijing



     Dali Yang

    Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Chicago’s Centre in Beijing



    Yu Yin

    Factory owner in Zhengzhou



    Professor Liu Baocheng

    from the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing



    Feng Lei

    graduate and Communist Party member



    Zhao Yuhao




    Wei Boyu

    medical devices salesman



    Wang Xuyang 

    graduate who is in the midst of setting up his own retail business


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