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Michael Pettis

Let China's Workers Roam Free

Clamping down could make the struggle against debt much harder.
The migrant "clean-out" could freeze labor mobility.

The migrant "clean-out" could freeze labor mobility.

Photographer: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

Over the past few weeks, people here in Beijing have been riveted by the so-called migrant “clean-out” -- the government's attempt to evict tens of thousands of migrant workers from their homes in the poorer parts of the city. What's not being discussed, however, is how the crackdown could threaten one of the government's other main priorities: managing debt.

QuickTake China's Debt Bomb