They used the same phrase about Britain 150 years ago and China has taken this mantle some 25 years or more. I'd never stopped to think about the implications of this statement and it was portrayed very clearly as the plane came down.
- Where do all the workers live? We saw flocks of 10 story flats.
- Where does all the food come from to feed the workers? The land was covered in agricultural plastic on a scale that was almost too large to believe.
- How do the workers cook, warm and wash themselves? We saw enormous trains pulling huge numbers of wagons laden with coal.
- And where does all the material come from to build the workers houses, roads and factories? There were massive tracts of land that had been gouged out to extract the rock for building materials; big orange sores on the landscape.
The 'Workshop of the World' took on a whole new depth of meaning. It's clear that there is a hidden price to pay for the cheap goods that have become so readily available across the globe.
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