The story

In the crowds still stranded by snow at train stations around China stand some of the country's most valuable economic assets: migrant workers.

This group of 150 million to 200 million farmers -- more than the population of the United Kingdom, France and Australia combined -- account for the majority of employees in China's world-beating manufacturing sector, the bulk of its coal miners and most of its construction workers.

During the past two decades, according to a conservative estimate from UNESCO and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, migrants have contributed 16 percent of gross domestic product growth. Read full article »

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