Sat, 02 Dec 2023

Beijing [China], September 28 (ANI): China is turning to cities like Shenyang to squeeze more productivity and efficiency out of the region's factories, The New York Times reported.

This comes as the government confronts a national economy that has slowed because of the country's real estate crisis.

Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning Province, is one of three large provinces in northeast China. The city constitutes the cradle of China's heavy industry.

Hundreds of workers at a factory in Shenyang weld automated machines, 95 yards long, that are used to bore subway tunnels. At another factory there, employees assemble robots that China's solar panel makers will use to streamline their production.

These factories, however, tell only part of the story of the economy of northeastern China, underlining the challenges facing Beijing policymakers, who are turning to what many economists believe is a tired playbook focused on industrial investments instead of more social benefits for consumers, as per The New York Times.

The region's birthrate is going down. A quarter of the population is 65 or older, and that share is growing about two percentage points a year, while the share of working-age adults is declining by about the same amount. Fewer people are buying new homes, apartment prices are falling and construction cranesare less active.

Northeastern China is heavily in debt. The region faces falling public revenues. Pensions are the responsibility of the region's three provincial governments - Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang - and their cost is soaring.

On a recent evening, Zhang Shaocheng, 70, a retiree from a state-owned paint factory, waited with other seniors for a free outdoor movie at a shuttered Shenyang machinery factory. He appreciates that today's factories emit less pollution than the ones from his working years, but he and other seniors are counting on the government to take care of them.

"The air is good now, and I have a pension," Mr. Zhang said, as per The New York Times.

As the Chinese economy has slowed this year, the northeast is perilously close to tipping into a recession, according to The New York Times. (ANI)

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