Recent reporting by our partner The New York Times raised fresh concerns over the safety and well-being of the workers that staff Apple's supplier factories in China. Apple now says that it has requested an independent labor group to audit the conditions at its suppliers' factories, with the first inspections under way starting yesterday.
China’s economy has been steadily growing over the past three decades, bypassing countries like Great Britian, Germany and France. And last night, the country took a major economic leap: China is now the world’s second largest economy, behind only the United States. The milestone was reached after Japan announced a slightly smaller second quarter value than China.
President Obama is in China today as part of a weeklong tour of Asian nations. When he meets with government officials, Obama is expected to ask China to revalue its currency. China has long pegged its currency, the yuan, to the U.S. dollar, which means that when the dollar drops — as it did last week — the yuan does also. That ensures that Chinese-made goods remain consistently cheap when compared with American-made products. It's got American manufacturers and some economists up in arms.
For a look at whether or not the president has any bargaining power with the single largest holder of American debt, we turn to David Barboza, Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. Mary Kay Magistad, China correspondent for PRI's The World, has the latest on a town hall meeting that the President held with Chinese students.