The Economist Radio (All audio)

Drum Tower: Slow train home



China is celebrating the lunar new year. The Ministry of Transport predicts that by February 15th over 2bn journeys will be made by Chinese heading to their home towns–and for some migrant workers, it'll be the first time they've returned since the start of the covid-19 pandemic three years ago. The Economist's Beijing bureau chief, David Rennie, has a standing ticket for a train ride that’s part of the biggest annual human migration on the planet. He asks passengers on a two-day train from Guangzhou to Urumqi about the economic and emotional challenges involved in going home. He and Alice Su, our senior China correspondent, also hear from Han Dongfang, founder of the China Labour Bulletin, about a pay problem that's gripping the country's most vulnerable workers.Sign up to our weekly newsletter here and for full access to print, digital and audio editions, as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at Hosted on Acast. See for more information.