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Hsiao-Hung Pai

Hsiao-Hung Pai is a freelance journalist, whose report on the Morecambe Bay tragedy for the Guardian was made into the film Ghosts. Her book on undocumented Chinese immigrants in Britain, Chinese Whispers, was shortlisted for the Orwell Book Prize in 2009. She lives in London. 

Blog

  • In the Shadows of Olympians: Unorganized Workers in Beijing

    As China's economy stagnates and the New York Times and Strike Map report burgeoning labour movements, the lives of Chinese workers draw greater scrutiny. This extract from Scattered Sand by Hsiao-Hung Pai examines these lives; the 'scattered sand' of Pai's book refers to the migration of 200 million workers from rural provinces to urban centres that have been integral to China's economy. The extract evidences the precarity of these workers, who live without residency status and at the mercy of their employers, to quote Pai the picture painted 'picture bears little resemblance to that of the footloose globe-trotter moving around the world in a cocoon of global Chinese capitalism and culture'.



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  • China's Twentieth Century: A reading list on Chinese history, culture and politics

    The New York Times this week reported that labour struggles in China have multiplied over the past year since the countries economy started to slow down. While this may have been news to many in the western media, used to running stories reflecting on the "Chinese model" of development, and the staggering years of double-digit GDP growth, for the left this was less suprising. Organisations like the China Labour Bulletin have been charting and mapping the waves of labour unrest in China for years now. But, this does raise the spectre of how we see China and it's position in relation to global capitalism.

    This week on the Verso blog we'll be highlighting the Verso books in this reading list that cast a critical look at China's history, politics and culture.



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  • Immigration Reading List: Against Racism, Against Borders—Refugees and Migrants Welcome!

    The delayed and despicable reactions of politicians from the foot-dragging David Cameron to the racist, "radical right" Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán to the current refugee crisis have resulted in a global upsurge of activism, with tens of thousands signed up to rally in central London and across Europe this Saturday as part of #EuropeSaysWelcome: European Day of Action for Refugees. The continent’s conscience has been moved as people all over the world upturn the racist, exclusionary narratives of politicians and the liberal and right-wing press with acts of compassion, generosity and everyday solidarity.

    We have put together a reading list intended to better our understanding of the underlying causes of the crisis, including: racism, political inertia and capitalist war.  

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Books