Dortmund
In 2003, roughly 500 Chinese workers arrived in Dortmund to deal the final blow to the city’s former status as a heavy-industry heartland in Germany’s Ruhr River valley. Working by day and sometimes by night, the Chinese dismantled Dortmund’s last blast furnace, which the steelmaking giant ThyssenKrupp had mothballed in 1998, no longer able to run it at a profit.

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