There have been a number of articles speculating when/if there will be unrest in China like there has been in the Middle East and Northern Africa.

One interesting thread is consistent in these articles – unrest actually starts with the middle-class, not the poor. When the economic opportunities worsen and there are no political participation opportunities, then the middle class feels squeezed and things have the potential to boil-over.

Consider this: while the unemployment rate in China is reported to be ~4.5% (that is the rate in the major cities), it is actually close to 20% if you count the rural areas as well. In addition, in order to hold the line at 20%, China must create one million new jobs every month from now until well into the future.

Lastly, China will generate seven million college graduates every year from now until well into the future (up from less than a million a year just a decade ago).

How long is this sustainable in your mind (with the small amount of information presented here)?

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