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An hour from Shanghai by train, past freshly sprouted skyscrapers on either side of the tracks, is the office of up-and-coming solar-panel manufacturer, Trina Solar. Every morning, hundreds of young workers whirr into the Changzhou industrial estate on electric motorbikes and plug them into a solar-powered charging unit outside Trina’s plant, before they file into the shiny modern buildings. The young technicians are part of the new generation riding the wave of China’s economic growth.

Dozens of recently hired workers march up and down outside the…



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