'My ambitions are but empty dreams,' says Chinese migrant worker: Invisible Asia Ep 2

  • 19 May 2021

Invisible Asia Ep 2: 'My ambitions are but empty dreams,' says Chinese migrant worker 10:25 mins Synopsis: The Invisible Asia Podcast is a special edition series in which The Straits Times casts the spotlight on people and communities living in the shadows of their societies where they exist largely unseen and unheard of. Do follow all nine episodes of Invisible Asia over the next two months on The Straits Times podcast channel on Apple podcasts, Spotify or Google podcasts. The Straits Times' China correspondent Danson Cheong explores the hardships that short-term labourer Wei Xiaoqiang faces daily. Xiaoqiang is one among China’s 290 million rural migrants who have moved to the big cities to seek a better life. But a lack of skills has kept such migrants out of most employment opportunities, forcing them into an endless cycle of grabbing whatever temporary jobs are hawked their way, at places such as the Majuqiao labour market in the outskirts of Beijing. Our series' narrator is Tan Jia Ning: Xiaoqiang on what it's like to have to find a new job each day and struggle to keep up to earn his wages (2:27)  He yearns for a better life, doing something different, but his dreams still seem far out of reach to him (3:44)  Why China's rural migrants are stuck at the bottom of the "food chain" (4:51)  With short-term labour romanticised for the "gig worker lifestyle", Xiaoqiang says it's in fact 'an incredibly lonely life' (6:52)  Challenges mounting for such workers in China, and what the government has done to alleviate the problem (7:38)  Read Danson Cheong's story here: https://str.sg/Jj9a Produced by: Tan Jia Ning, Magdalene Fung, Ernest Luis & Adam Azlee Edited by: Adam Azlee Discover Invisible Asia Podcast playlist: https://omny.fm/shows/st-bt/playlists/invisible-asia Discover Invisible Asia Video playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnK3VE4BKduNKeEL19yhXFVHxGB8X315b Discover ST & BT podcasts: Channel: https://str.sg/JWVR Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2PwZCYU Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2Lu4rPP Google podcasts: http://str.sg/googlestbt Websites: http://str.sg/stbtpodcasts https://bt.sg/moneyhacks Feedback to: podcast@sph.com.sg  --- Discover more ST podcast series: Asian Insider Podcast: https://str.sg/JWa7 Green Pulse Podcast: https://str.sg/JWaf Health Check Podcast: https://str.sg/JWaN ST Sports Talk Podcast: https://str.sg/JWRE Life Weekend Picks Podcast: https://str.sg/JWa2 #PopVultures Podcast: https://str.sg/JWad Bookmark This! Podcast: https://str.sg/JWas Lunch With Sumiko Podcast: https://str.sg/J6hQ Discover BT Podcasts:  http://bt.sg/podcasts Follow our shows then, if you like short, practical podcasts! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.