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China's unequal wealth-distribution map causing social problems

Discussion in 'China & Asia Pacific' started by MiG-23MLD, Feb 25, 2011.

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  1. MiG-23MLD

    MiG-23MLD Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    China's unequal wealth-distribution map causing social problems - The China PostRecently, I ran into renowned sociologist Zhou Xiaozheng, who heads the Institute of Law and Sociology at Renmin University of China. Zhou, who is in his sixties, looks very gentlemanly in his smart, simple outfit, but when he talks he is all but gentle and moderate, getting right to the point.
    Zhou is a regular commentator in talk shows on Chinese television and has recently been teaching Chinese Communist Party officials. In his courses he has vocally alerted them to China's manifold crises and social ills. Look at the Foxconn assembly line workers who keep jumping to their deaths, repeated incidents of children being chopped to death in Shenzhen and Shanghai, and local residents immolating themselves out of protest against their relocation by the government... “This is a never-ending chain of violence,†Zhou warned.

    Where does the violence that pervades China come from? Its cause is nothing other than the drastic change in wealth distribution across the country.

    Zhou explains that Communist China has seen two major turning points during its 60 year history: the first when it abandoned capitalism for “one equality†(everyone equally poor) — a path it pursued for thirty years — and the second which ended up with a society of “divided extremes†of wealth.

    How Is Wealth Distributed Across China?

    Between 2008 and 2009 the number of Chinese millionaires with assets worth more than 10 million renminbi rose from 825,000 to 875,000, according to rough estimates by the Chinese government. Within just one year, 50,000 more Chinese struck it rich.

    The number of super rich with assets in excess of 100 million renminbi increased by 4,000 during the same period, from 51,000 to 55,000. China even has some 2,000 billionaires with assets of more than 1 billion renminbi and more than 100 mega rich worth more than 10 billion renminbi.

    Not long ago Xincaifu (“New Wealthâ€), a monthly Chinese business magazine, came out with its latest list of China's 500 richest people, which showed that 88 had made their fortune in real estate, owning an average 7.38 billion renminbi per person.

    The super rich at the top of the wealth pyramid are rapidly increasing, while the average peasant at the bottom earns less than US$5,000 per year.

    In other words, some 310 million people in China have an income that is on a par with that of people in France or the United States, but there are also hundreds of millions living at the bottom of society in abject poverty. “Don't forget, China's current success is built on 300 million people taking advantage of 1 billion cheap laborers. And the unfair judicial system and the unfair distribution of wealth are making the challenges even greater,†Zhou says with a tone of stern reproach.
     
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  2. MiG-23MLD

    MiG-23MLD Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    China is richer, but most Chinese are still poor - Fortune Finance
    [​IMG]
    Now that China has surpassed Japan to become the world's second-largest economy, economists predict it's on track to replace the US as the world's biggest by 2025. But what does the higher rank really mean for the average Chinese citizen?

    There is no doubt China has achieved impressive growth over the past decade. But even though the country has averaged about 10% growth over the past several years, that doesn't mean the average Chinese citizen is necessarily eating or sleeping better than the average German or Frenchman. In fact, with GDP per capita at $3,744 in 2009, China placed #86 out of 164 countries ranked according to 2009 World Bank data. This was just below much smaller economies such as Tunisia, Albania and Jordan.
     
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  3. prototype

    prototype Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Well,unequal wealth distribution is the side effect of having big population and sprawling economy,u cannot completely eradicate it,u have to live with it.

    Their peasant earns an average of $ 5000,does not that look little weird,since their per capita is also less than $ 5000.
     
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  4. RobbieS

    RobbieS 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    I'd say we got bigger problems arising out of unequal wealth distribution than China. In our case unequal wealth distribution also brings about unequal rights and opportunities. And as a result of that we got not only social and economic problems, but political problems like the Naxal/Maoist issue. It would be interesting to note how the Chinese tackle their problem. Maybe the way they go about it will hold some lessons for us.
     
  5. Coltsfan

    Coltsfan <b>SENIOR MEMBER</b> SENIOR MEMBER

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    Unfortunately, lessons from non democratic regimes can not be applied to a democratic country.
     
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  6. DaRk KnIght

    DaRk KnIght Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Indian and chinese economic growth are because of their huge population. Apart from that we are still in lower income group.
     
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  7. MiG-23MLD

    MiG-23MLD Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    On the morning of January 5, 2011, in a small village called Shizuizi (石嘴子) in the county of Chongli, on the outskirts of the city of Zhangjiakou in Hebei, 79-year-old Hao Gao (郝高) was busy talking with his son about what they could spend their welfare payments on after they got their hands on the money.

    Shizuizi village is the first village in Chongli county to conduct a survey of its poor inhabitants this year, already receiving an official endorsement of its results from the county government.

    The standard used to determine who in the village officially qualified as poor was a new one that had only recently been announced.

    At the start of this year, China raised its official national poverty line to a net per capita income of 1,500 yuan per year (approx 230 US dollars at the current market exchange rate).

    The new standard still lags the World Bank's international poverty line of 1.25 US dollars a day, but according to Cao Wendao, an official with the World Bank's China office, the new poverty line could expand the size of China's poor population "back to more than 90 million people or even more than 100 million" - which is close to the estimate of the number of officially poor at the start of last decade when the previous standard of net income of 1,196 yuan a year was used.

    According to the original 1,196 yuan poverty line, the poor population in China fell from 94.23 million in 2000 to 35.97 million in 2009.

    As for China's grass-roots poverty alleviation organizations, the lifting of the official poverty line doesn't only mean that the number of officially poor will rise - it also means that there will be changes to how the country approaches the challenge of poverty reduction.

    Who Qualifies as Poor in China?

    In order to expand poverty reduction programs, the first step is always to identity who is poor.

    The village of Shizuizi has 1,336 residents and a total of 929 individuals have been officially identified as poor according to the new standard.

    Such a high proportion of poor people is not rare in the county of Zhongli, which has been identified as a center for poverty alleviation by the central government.

    Of the 35 villages that have been designated as key villages in the first round of the county-wide poverty reduction program, poor people account for about 70 percent of the villages' population on average.

    According to Jiang Zhongjun (姜仲军), a village official in Shizuizi, villagers need to pass through 5 stages before they can be officially recognised as poor and thus qualify to receive assistance.

    The first step is to apply to be recognised as officially poor.

    After government representatives have informed the villagers about the new standards of who qualifies as poor and the policies that are being introduced to assist them, the villagers are free to complete an application form and apply based on their own economic conditions.

    The second step involves officials going door-to-door to complete a survey of the income of those who have applied. Any family that is discovered to have an average per capita income of more than 1,500 yuan a month, is ruled out.

    The third step is referred to as democratic appraisal or (民主评议 mínzhǔ píngyì) which consists of village officials and representatives discussing and appraising the applications of those who have made it through to this third round.

    The fourth step is to announce the results of the evaluation process in public.
    The fifth step involves audit and final approval.

    If the village-level results are not contested, they are officially collated and reported to the county-level government, who are responsible for auditing the results one more time and providing final approval.

    Shizuizi party committee secretary Huo Manming (霍满明) thinks that the third and the fourth steps are critical.

    "The most simple solution of ordinary people is to compare themselves with others, if there are two families who are living in similar circumstances, but one is accepted and not the other, then of course there are going to be disagreements."

    One of the households that made it through to the final round of the village survey was Hao Gao's family of four, who were earning less than 5,000 yuan a year between them.

    Because of problems with his eyesight, one of the family's sons can not work independently on the farm, let alone head to the city to work as a migrant laborer.

    So Hao Gao has to manage the family's seven mu of land together with his disabled son.

    The deputy director of Chongli county's Poverty Relief Office Xue Mei (薛美) said, the process of confirming which impoverished villages will recieve speical support had also been changed, so that now a complete survey of the number of poor in all villages in the county must be conducted and verified before poverty relief teams are assigned to particular villages.

    Central Government Funds

    According to the old measure, there were 45,300 poor people living in Chongli County. Now the bar has been raised to the new standard of 1,500 yuan a year, the number will rise to 59,000 - an increase of 14,200 or 30 percent.

    It's not only the national poverty line that has been raised, Hebei Province also lifted their official provincial poverty line to 1,500 yuan per annum, a year before the national standard was raised.

    However, even though the provincial poverty line exceeded the national level, funds to support poverty alleviation coming from the provincial level are not as reliable as those coming from the central government.

    Provincial level funds depend on the financial situation in each year's provincial budget, if the fiscal revenue is looking good, then the money will be provided, if revenues are down, then perhaps no payments will be made.

    However, poverty relief funds provided by the central government are more reliable.

    If Hao Gao is able to have his identity as a member of his village's poor population confirmed by the local county authorities, he and his family would be eligible to receive a 2,000 yuan cash payment and a futher 6,000 yuan in low-interest loans.

    If Hao could scrape together an additional 2,000 yuan, he would be able to afford a green house in which to grow vegetables, that are increasingly popular in the county.

    Over the coming years, Shizuizi village is eligible to receive a minimum of 600,000 yuan in funds for poverty alleviation. While Chongli County will receive about 26 million yuan in funds.

    Aside from cash payments, Chongli county will also receive preferential treatment in relation to the construction of essential infrastructure and also receive 18 million yuan in funds from other sources including donations from charities and private companies.

    At present, the county has assigned 44 county-level departments to help at least one of the 35 poor villages, according to the principle of economic departments helping our "poor villages," political departments helping our "disorderly villages" and Communist Party departments helping out "spread-out villages" that have more than one village committee.

    Shizuizi village actively sought to be teamed up with the Chongli County procuratorate, but Jiang Zhongjun is quick to explain, that the reason they were partnered with a political department is not because they are a "disorderly village," but because they know the procuratorate has influence and they believes that the procuratorate can help them to attract new projects to the village.

    The next step is to set up similar partner relationships with parts of Zhangjiakou city, Hebei Province and even central government departments.

    The deputy director of Chongli county's Poverty Relief Office Xue Mei hopes that Chongli can be partnered up with a central government department.

    According to Xue Mei, the first batch of villages to be officially recognised as poor, which includes Shizuizi, will focus on developing greenhouses to grow vegetables - a goal which will be supported by the provision of water and electricity services and low-rate loans so that over the coming three years the new greenhouses will be installed over 10,000 mu of land.

    Zhangjiakou City Poverty Relief Office deputy director Zhao Guangyu (赵光宇) believes that there is no doubt that the funds promised by the central government will be provided, but the question of how to spend it effectively, is a challenge faced by all levels of government.

    The funds that are provided from the provincial level will normally be used to supplement the income of families.

    He hopes that after many years of hard work, every poor family will be able to take part in one of these programs, "for instance planting or breeding, after a few years, they'll have developed to a stage where they have an income, and they will have reached the goal of the poverty alleviation program
    Who Qualifies as Poor in China?- Economic Observer News- China business, politics, law, and social issues
     
  8. MiG-23MLD

    MiG-23MLD Major SENIOR MEMBER

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  9. MiG-23MLD

    MiG-23MLD Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Categorized | Featured, People & Life, Pictures
    Tags | demolition, farmer, forced demolition, forced eviction, Homeless, peasants, poor, poverty, Sanya, slum, tourismLargest slum in south China’s Sanya demolished, leaving dwellers homeless
    In Sanya, a beautiful coastal city in south China, a large area of makeshift shacks sprawling over Mangguo village and Xigua village (literally: Mango village and Watermelon village) used to be peasants’ abode. However, since January 19, the city government has started forced demolition and eviction that targets the city’s biggest slum.

    Chen Zugao, a resident in the area, said, most of the dwellers here are farmers from Danzhou, Hainan Province and make a living by raising hogs. The profit is much more than growing vegetables back in their hometown. Their houses in Danzhou are simply thatch huts. Now that shacks here have been demolished, they are homeless.

    Even though the slum is in a complete shambles, some pig farmers are still living in the area. They said, “I will be here as long as the pigs are here.”

    Shack-dweller Yang Jiadai and his wife Zhang Pomei said, “We’ve been here raising pigs for seven years. Now the government demolished the houses. But we still have pigs that haven’t been sold yet. So, we can’t leave.”

    Largest slum in south China&rsquo;s Sanya demolished, leaving dwellers homeless | Ministry of Tofu

    [​IMG]
    While tens of millions Chinese travel home for the New Year, vagabonds keep drifting
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2014
  10. MiG-23MLD

    MiG-23MLD Major SENIOR MEMBER

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  11. MiG-23MLD

    MiG-23MLD Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Cheng Zhenbo: A 12-Year-Old Guizhou Child’s Lonely Life – chinaSMACK
    Photo Story: Cheng Zhenbo, a 12-year-old child’s lonely life

    Dinner, on the table is a bowl of vegetables boiled in plain water, Cheng Zhenbo covers his head and says: “I have chickenpox, so I cannot eat too much oil. The day before yesterday, I had a fever, didn’t take any medicine, but now I’m a bit better. I think a pox has grown in my throat, it is a little painful, so I can only eat light/non-oily food. After I get better, I can eat sour peppers or whatever.” When he was 2-years-old, his father died. When he was 9-years-old, his mother remarried, while his older sister and brother went to school away from home. Normally, he cooks, chops firewood, sleeps, and takes care of two younger brothers by himself
    Cheng Zhenbo is a fifth grade student at the Lixue Elementary School in Daguan Town of Wangmo County of Guizhou Province. The Lixue Elementary School he attends, from kindergarten to sixth grade, has a total of 7 classes, 8 teachers, and 194 students. Recently, the media reported, that for several consecutive years, a portion of the educational funds given to Wangmo County of Guizhou Province were misappropriated/embezzled by staff in the County Poverty Alleviation Office, never reaching the students.

    Only when going to bed every night is Cheng Zhenbo willing to turn on a dim incandescent bulb. Last month, his home’s electricity bill was only 1 mao. Before going to sleep, he will review that day’s lesson once, because only this way can he sleep at ease. The Cheng family’s three siblings all have good grades, known by the entire Lixue village. Big sister Cheng Lanzhen earned a scholarship, is in Xingyi City of Guizhou Province studying “春晖班 [chun hui ban, I do not know what this is]“, her expenses all covered; Big brother Cheng Tao was admitted into a middle school in the county, currently studying his third year; Cheng Zhenbo is attending fifth grade, and is number one in his class. Covering the wall behind him is the three siblings certificates of accomplishment.

    Every day, Cheng Zhenbo must make the fire and prepare meals by himself, one hen and five chicks adding a bit of life to the empty home. Dinner is green vegetables cooked in plain water, and seeing the reporter arriving, he scooped a bowl of soy beans to be the day’s extra food.

    Normally, Cheng Zhenbo eats boiled green vegetables every day, and it has already been three months since the last time he tasted meat. On this day, before going to school, Cheng Zhenbo heated up the leftover boiled vegetables from the last night. Eating a bit of breakfast, lunch can be skipped, and by eating a roasted sweet potato in the afternoon, he can make it until school is out.

    On the mountainside across from the forest where Cheng Zhenbo’s house is, every day, after getting out from school, he uses half an hour to finish his homework, carrying a bamboo knife to go cut firewood. “It’s winter, firewood burns quickly”, Cheng Zhenbo points to the opposing mountainside and says, “that is the forest where my home is, the trip takes an hour’s walk.”

    When having class at school, Cheng Zhenbo’s 2-year-old little cousin Chen Zhenwei plays alone in the schoolyard. He has not yet reached school age, yet likes going to school with the big children. Chen Zhenbo knows that only through education can one truly get out of the mountain areas. “I want to be an architect when I grow up. I don’t have to earn a lot of money, 50 kuai a day would be enough”, Cheng Zhenbo bashfully says.

    The original poster on Mop also reposted a comment left by another netizen regarding these photographs:


    Seeing just these ten photographs, I did not imagine myself almost shedding tears. That child’s pure and simple little face, is the biggest ridicule/embarrassment of certain people. When he walks out of that big mountain and sees the outside would, he might want even more, but in this moment comparing his simple dream to our desires, I truly feel ashamed.


    In the beginning, I somewhat wanted to curse those people who misappropriated the public funds, but one line from a television drama I’ve been watching recently made me think that perhaps my attitude is wrong. We are always complaining about the social system, saying this is not good, that is not good, but we need to see that the country is changing bit by bit, that Rome was not built in one day, that the country’s system is constantly improving, and that many people are currently working hard for this. Rather than loudly criticizing, some practical action would be better and more meaningful, no? That person who misappropriated public funds in this case is of course wrong, but, maybe he had his own predicament. People’s hearts are all made of flesh [not ice, stone, etc.], he should be even more aware of those children’s situations, so maybe he isn’t what we think he is, maybe there are other children in even more desperate situations, but the funds are not enough to take care of everyone. The misappropriation of public funds/diverting o funds may not necessarily have been for one’s own selfish interests.


    How meaningful is only criticizing and cursing? The key is to let even more children be happy, and action is better than just being moved. I will definitely go to the mountains and see myself. I do not have the ability to let them realize their dreams, but at least I have the ability to let them know that there are many people who care about them.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. MiG-23MLD

    MiG-23MLD Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    MOVING OUT OF POVERTY & RISING LIVING STANDARDS

    Between 1981 and 2005, an estimated 600 million Chinese people moved out of poverty (US$1/day) and China’s poverty rate dropped from 85% to 15%.
    [World Bank report; Wikipedia “Poverty in People's Republic of China” ]



    According to China’s official statistics, between 1978 to 2007:
    • China’s per capita rural net income increased from 133RMB to 4,140RMB.

    • China’s per capita urban disposable income increased from 343RMB to 13,785RMB.

    • Per capita rural housing space increased from 8.1 to 31.6 square meters.

    • Per capita urban housing space increased from 4.2 to 22.6 square meters.

    Between 1985 to 2007:
    • China’s ownership of color TV per 100 families increased from 0.8 to 94.4 (rural families) and 17.2 to 137.8 (urban).

    • China’s ownership refrigerator per 100 families increased from 0.1 to 26.1 (rural families) and 6.6 to 95 (urban).

    Between 2000 to 2007, China’s car ownership per 100 families increased from 0.5 to 6.06.
    [ China National Bureau of Statistics, 2008; China Statistical Yearbook 2008 ]



    China has more people who aspire to own a car, but currently do not, than any other country in the world, according to the research company AC Nielsen.
    [BBC News “Cracking China's car market” May 17, 2007 ]

    Click here for more on China’s Exploding Car Culture in China Facts: TRANSPORTATION & CARS.


    Only about 20% of Chinese own a credit card, according to a CCTV survey.
    [ Xinhuanet News, September 14, 2007 ]


    China has 38% savings rate, one of the highest in the world—due in part to the fact that there is no national safety net. Other savings rates: India (34.7%), Germany (11.7%), Britain (7%), U.S. (3.9%), Australia (2.5%).
    [ Businessweek, June 10, 2010 ]


    [​IMG]
    China facts: THE POOR & POVERTY STATISTICS

    China has about 150 million people living below the United Nations poverty line of one US dollar a day.
    [ Wikipedia “Income Inequality in China”; China Development Research Foundation Feb 2011 report ]


    Nearly 500 million Chinese people live on less than $2 a day.
    [ BBC News “Millions 'left behind' in rural China” May 12, 2010 ]


    85% of China’s poor live in rural areas, with about 66% concentrated in the country’s west.
    [China Development Research Foundation Feb 2011 report ]


    [​IMG]

    99% of China’s poor live in or come from rural areas, according to national statistics, which count migrant workers in cities among the rural, not urban poor. Even if migrant workers are excluded from the rural population, 90% of poverty is still rural.
    [ Wall Street Journal “Facts About Poverty in China Challenge Conventional Wisdom” April 13, 2009 ]


    Over half of China’s population lives in rural areas…but they share less than 12% of the country’s wealth.
    [ The Telegraph UK “China's wealth gap the widest since economic reforms began” March 2, 2010 ]


    Levels of poverty are higher and more severe in China’s western regions, but nearly half of the poor are in other parts of the country.
    [ Wall Street Journal “Facts About Poverty in China Challenge Conventional Wisdom” April 13, 2009 ]


    China’s poverty among ethnic minorities is two to three times higher than among the Han Chinese.
    [ Wall Street Journal “Facts About Poverty in China Challenge Conventional Wisdom” April 13, 2009 ]

    [​IMG]

    Up to 200 million Chinese workers and peasants suffer from occupational ailments, according to data from the Ministry of Health.
    [ Wall Street Journal “Rich China, Poor Peasants” July 24, 2009 ]



    CHINA’S MIDDLE CLASS

    China’s middle class is estimated to between 100 million and 150 million people.
    [ National Geographic, “China’s Middle Class” May 2008]


    China has about 55 million middle-class households, according to McKinsey & Company, which wrote: “That number could more than quadruple to nearly 280 million in 2025, to account for more than three-quarters of all China’s urban households.”
    [ McKinsey & Co. “Comparing urbanization in China and India” July 2010 ]



    China facts: GROWING INCOME INEQUALITY
    [​IMG]

    China ranks #53 worst worldwide in terms of income inequality, with a Gini index (measuring wealth inequality) of 41.5. In comparison, the U.S. ranks #40 worst with a Gini index of 40.
    [ CIA World Factbook, accessed March 2011 ]

    [​IMG]

    In the mid-2000s, China’s top 10 percent of the population controlled 45 percent of the country’s wealth.
    [ China’s National Bureau of Statistics ]


    In 2009, China’s urban per capita annual income of about US$2,500 was nearly three times that of rural residents. The gap is much more extreme in larger, wealthier cities such as Beijing ($9,085 in 2008) and Shanghai ($10,529 in 2008).
    [ China’s National Bureau of Statistics ]


    The average annual income in China’s cities is now more than three times the average income in the countryside, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
    China Daily, the government-run newspaper, reported that it was the widest disparity for more than three decades.
    [ The Telegraph UK “China's wealth gap the widest since economic reforms began” March

    [​IMG]

    China facts: THE RICH

    China now has more billionaires (128 in 2011) than any other country except for the U.S. (412 in 2011).
    [Forbes; Wikipedia “List of countries by the number of US dollar billionaires”]


    Over half of the world’s top 20 richest self-made women are Chinese, including the top three richest.
    { The Economist online “The Great Wealth of China” Oct. 13, 2010 ]


    http://www.china-mike.com/facts-about-china/facts-rich-poor-inequality/
     
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  13. MiG-23MLD

    MiG-23MLD Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    07 March 2011 Monday 01:01China richest man says work key to easing poverty
    China's richest man Sunday rejected criticism that the rich have done little to help the country's millions of poor and said hard work was the key to lifting themselves out of poverty.BEIJING (AFP) – China's richest man Sunday rejected criticism that the rich have done little to help the country's millions of poor and said hard work was the key to lifting themselves out of poverty.

    China has struggled to spread its wealth evenly among its 1.3 billion-strong population and the widening wealth gap is at the top of the agenda of the country's annual parliamentary session which opened Saturday.

    "The most important thing we can do is teach them (poor people) how to help themselves and help them get rich through hard work," Zong Qinghou, the founder of China's largest soft drinks maker Wahaha, told a news conference.

    Zong, who leapt 11 places to top the Hurun Rich List in 2010 with a fortune of $12 billion, is one of nearly 3,000 delegates to the National People's Congress (NPC) meeting in Beijing.

    "In the 30 years since reform and opening up, people's living standards have increased greatly but our goal is to make them even better," the beverage tycoon told reporters.

    Over the next five years "we will attach even more importance to (income) distribution and further reduce the wealth gap."

    Wahaha, which is based in the eastern city of Hangzhou, gave its workers a pay rise every year and had built factories in poor regions to "create job opportunities and help local economic development", Zong said.

    Companies should "first create wealth for society and let the workers get rich first."

    "If they have strong conditions and more economic power, they can do more charity work."

    Zong praised government efforts to improve the country's social safety net and boost wages which has allowed people "to dare to spend money."

    "Now we are proposing to expand the distribution so incomes can be further increased," he said.

    China's Premier Wen Jiabao said Sunday that the country aimed to "basically eradicate poverty" within less than a decade.

    Wen told an NPC panel that a 10-year poverty reduction plan running until 2020 would substantially raise China's poverty threshold, currently set at about $0.50 a day, the state Xinhua news agency reported.

    Xinhua added that 150 million Chinese live on less than $1 a day.

    In his opening speech to the rubber-stamp parliament on Saturday, Wen had said that addressing the "large income gap" dividing rich and poor was a key priority for the next five years.

    Despite the yawning wealth gap, Zong rejected criticism that China's rich had done little to help the millions who still live in poverty despite rapid economic growth over the past three decades.

    "Chinese companies are more philanthropic than foreign companies," he said. "Every time there is a major natural disaster they contribute money."

    A banquet for China's super rich hosted by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett last September sparked debate about Chinese philanthropy and there were reports that wealthy invitees had been reluctant to attend.

    The Global Times said in a commentary piece that philanthropy was still in its infancy in China and was "not popular among Chinese business people".

    Zong admitted he did not go to the dinner but said he was busy that night.

    China richest man says work key to easing poverty
     
  14. MiG-23MLD

    MiG-23MLD Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    China has seen phenomenal growth in the last couple of decades to become the world's second largest economy. Today, it has the maximum number of billionaires after the United States. China and Hong Kong together are home to 115 billionaires.

    However, China's wealth has not been distributed uniformly among its citizens. According to Credit Suisse analysts, the rich-poor divide in China is at levels similar to Africa. One of the biggest drawbacks of the economic boom is the growing disparity between the 1.3 billion-urban and rural population.

    The government now plans to address the woes of the poor. With an aim to end poverty in the next 10 years, it has charted out a plan from 2011-20 to improve living conditions and raise the income levels of the poor.

    Two faces of China: 20 facts on the rich-poor divide - Rediff.com Business
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  15. MiG-23MLD

    MiG-23MLD Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    The Man Without A Name Who Stalks My Dreams
    My calloused heart, soul, and mind are obsessed with the memory of a man, whose name I will never know. Our eyes once locked on a human being jam-packed soiled street in Shenzhen, China. There were no words between us, as we both gawked at each other. At the time, I had no idea this seconds long encounter, would change my perspective on life forever.

    We were in a part of Shenzhen, where news of executives and sightseers being robbed and kidnapped, are not exceptional reports in Hong Kong newspapers. Some say it is a lawless place, comparable to the old days in Wild West. It has an element of modern day treachery, with pickpockets and con artists in full force.

    The millions of people and the gangs (syndicates) who live Shenzhen, which is one of the world's fastest growing cities, make the rules. This is not to say Shenzhen isn't modern, exciting, and a wonderful place to visit. It is all of both, and more.

    Here, as in any place in the world, including the United States, you see pockets of heart wrenching poverty. As a veteran international traveler, I am not easily shocked. I've seen extreme poverty and even in Central Florida we deal daily with the homeless and begging (although we refer to it as panhandling).

    Nor, am I unusually sympathetic or not compassionate to the homeless, knowing the issues of homelessness are endlessly complicated, no matter where you travel or live. There are no easy answers to global poverty and the plight of the homeless.

    On the Streets of Shenzhen China
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