Source: China Daily

03-16-2009 08:34

Special Report:   2009 NPC & CPPCC Sessions

By He Bolin and Xiao Yang (China Daily)

It looked at first like an acrobatic show.

On a chilly morning last week, a large crowd gathered in front of the National Agricultural Exhibition Center in Beijing to watch 40 students from a Henan martial arts academy perform traditional Chinese boxing and sword-dancing routines.

(Left): NPC deputies meet at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing last Thursday. (Right): Job seekers wait in the rain to enter a job fair in Hangzhou on Feb 28.Xinhua [China Daily]
(Left): NPC deputies meet at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing 
last Thursday. (Right): Job seekers wait in the rain to enter a job 
fair in Hangzhou on Feb 28.Xinhua [China Daily]

But the performers had not come to Beijing to entertain. They were looking for jobs.

Led by Party chief Xu Guangchun, in Beijing to attend the National People's Congress (NPC), Henan was showcasing its talents: construction workers and security guards trained by masters from Shaolin Temple, China's martial arts Mecca.

The reason for the first-ever exhibition was lost on no one. Some 2.5 million workers from Henan are among the 20 million who have lost their jobs in China's coastal areas due to the global economic slowdown.