With the onset of heretofore unprecedented instances of labor unrest in the summer of 2010, it has become readily apparent that China's economy has reached a critical juncture. Perceptions of rising social inequity and redistributive injustice are indicative of strains of economic growth that have proved as inevitable as they are consequential. Against the backdrop of an impending leadership transition and a global economy emerging from recessionary throes, changing labor market conditions will shape economic development and growth in substantive ways as first-tier cities and provinces are beginning a transition from take-off to early maturity stage of development. In its effort to mitigate regional disparities, China is locked into a precarious socio-economic balancing act with far-reaching consequences for domestic stability and international competitiveness. What are the short- to medium-term implications for China's domestic political economy space? What is the likely effect on China's global labor cost arbitrage and international competitiveness?
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