China battles to restart an economy left spluttering by Covid-19
Government officials insist that growth is on track, but experts and ordinary Chinese would disagree
Construction worker Ding Huansen was last at work seven weeks ago in China, where the second-largest economy has largely ground to a halt while the government battles the coronavirus outbreak.
Authorities are eager for a return to normal but that’s not possible as the many migrant workers, like Ding, who power factories and construction sites, remain stranded owing to travel and quarantine restrictions. Unlike white-collar employees, they cannot work remotely.
“We should have been working for a month now, if it were normal times,” says Ding, 27, from his village in Inner Mongolia. “I can’t even leave home – how am I supposed to make money?”..