Hidden Nook

"Because in Cyberspace, no one can hear you scream."

Sunday, March 13, 2005

China's Peasants Unhappy

[Media Source*]

Government officials estimate there are 160 protests per day across the countryside, with peasants and farmers lashing out over taxes, corruption and being left out of the boom.

"Life is so cruel for us," Cui Shujun, who earns the equivalent of $400 a month, told CTV News. "Farmers don't have enough to eat. The hardest thing is I have no money and my kid needs to go to school."

And I thought China's economy was doing so well. (Okay, it actually is, but the wealth is just not reaching the other 75% of the population).

In the "middle class" however, things seem to be rolling along pretty smoothly.

Photo from CTV

Meanwhile, in a gated Beijing community, the Fans have given their young baby every material good that a middle-class child in Canada might expect.

"Because of our large population, the country is facing a lot of pressure," Fan Luyuan said. "But if there is a dream, it will be that all Chinese will one day have what we have."

That is a noble dream to have, but unless the government of China takes a more serious role in building up three quarters of their population, a different type of revolution could occur (not a democratic one but an anarchist movement). China of coarse could resolve these problems by providing subsidies to the farmers (like we do in the U.S.) which would be quite expensive or just simply becoming a democracy like India (probably wouldn't happen without losing a war with Taiwan's allies).

The former shouldn't become a problem as China's economy is growing by a surprising 8% annually (compared to Canada's 3%) and they are already reaching out to the peasants with some type of governmental assistance (although Cui doesn't think it is enough for them to catch up to their middle class neighbors). This report does give me serious doubt about whether China will overtake the U.S.'s economy (as most of our population is middle class).

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By Darnell Clayton • 11:17 PM • Email Post • •


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