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China’s youth no longer want to face the meritocracy

Not long ago, at the 100th-anniversary celebration of the Communist Youth League of China, China’s President Xi Jinping said, “In China’s 5,000-year history, it is a tradition that the young generation is the support and hope of the country. The progress of young people is the progress of the country. The energy and creativity of the young generations have always been the driving force for the progress of the Chinese people.”

China’s leaders know that the future of Chinese prosperity lies in the hands of the younger generation. But it is precisely this generation that does not want to play along with the Chinese system. China’s economic boom is built primarily on a foundation of hard-working workers. The tradition is to find a well-paying job, raise a family and buy a house.

The younger generations, especially Generation Z, no longer want to be subservient to the performance system. They complain that hard work is no longer worth it and do only what is necessary to make ends meet. High physical demands and hardly any economic opportunities lead to frustration among the younger generations. This can be seen in the unemployment figures of the younger generation in China. Youth unemployment among 16- to 24-year-olds reached a record 19.9% in July.

“Let it rot” is the motto of many young people today. The motto alludes primarily to the workload, which many no longer want to face. The respondents explain the motto by saying that when work instructions come from the boss, they are only carried out as a last resort. Excuses such as “can I do it tomorrow?” or “can someone else do it?” are advanced. If the task has to be done by oneself, then it is done sloppily and unmotivated.

The high unemployment rate for 16- to 24-year-olds contrasts with a relatively low unemployment rate of 4.3% in July for 25- to 29-year-olds.

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