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China's Factory Girls46:44

This article is more than 11 years old.

If you dig far enough down in the world economy today — and you won’t have to dig long — you come to the giant factories of China.

They are massive. Whole cities of production. They turn out a huge portion of every manufactured thing you touch and wear and use these days.

And the bulwark of those factories is a whole generation of young migrant women — factory girls — who have flooded from China’s poor countryside to the factory floor. Know them — and their dreams — and you know the new heart and mind of the world economy.

This hour, On Point: China’s surprising, ambitious factory girls.Guests:

Leslie T. Chang, author of "Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China." She spent a decade in China as Beijing correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.
» Read an excerpt from "Factory Girls."

Anthony Kuhn, NPR's Beijing correspondent. You can hear his latest reports at

This program aired on October 10, 2008.

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