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Wealth distribution in China



Critics are agreed that gross inequality of wealth and income is a major cause of social unrest. However, Paul Simon sends us an article from the South China Morning Post (3/5/02) showing that China is no model of equality ( 3000 yuan equals USD $360 or so). Here is an extract:

"Stark contrasts and statistics tell tale of widening wealth gap. China's richest man stood on the steps of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday explaining the impact entry to the World Trade Organisation would have on the private sector. A kilometre away another man stood by the roadside trying to make a living. The man on the steps, Liu Yonghao, 53, chairman of the New Hope Group, is a member of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC, which opened its annual meeting at the Great Hall on Sunday. His family firm has assets of US$1 billion. Not far from the Great Hall, Liang Cuihong, 50, stood on the side of the road, selling an assortment of watches and wallets, a job he took up after the closure of the state electronics factory where he worked for more than 20 years. "You may find this hard to believe, but, after a working life of 30 years, I have just 3,000 yuan in the bank. Most people I know have savings of 10,000 to 20,000 yuan," he said. "Those people at the NPC and CPPCC are bit actors in a play in which the Communist Party leaders play the main roles. They read out the lines which the leaders give them. It is well rehearsed but means nothing for the common people. They are the core members of a group of less than one million people who control the wealth of this country".

My question: Is this the result of privatization in China?

Ronald Hilton - 3/5/02


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