The great wall of poverty dividing China

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The great wall of poverty dividing China

Postby long_way » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:39 pm

The great wall of poverty dividing China
January 31, 2011

Deepening inequality of income is undermining confidence in the boom, writes Dexter Roberts.

A three-hour bus ride from the shopping malls of central Beijing, Yongfengtun, a village north-west of the city, reveals the flip-side of China's economic expansion: deepening inequality that has undermined confidence.

The farming community's population has quadrupled in recent years, to 20,000, as migrant workers and members of the so-called ant tribe of cash-strapped urban youth poured in from across China. Grimy shopfronts advertise cheap clothing, shoes and budget mobile phone services. Dogs root through piles of rubbish on streets crowded with bicycles and pedestrians.
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"It's cheap!" says one 23-year-old, a recent college graduate who pays $39 a month for a 6 sq m apartment.

"Heat costs money," he says as he kicks a pan of water for washing laundry that has frozen solid. "There is no way I could afford an apartment in central Beijing," with rents probably 10 times higher for a comparable place, he says.

It's not as if incomes are stagnant in China. In 2010, they were up 10.9 per cent to an average of $898 in the countryside and 7.8 per cent, to $2900, in the cities, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Read the whole article: http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-grea ... 1a9om.html
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