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China's rural poor left behind

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  • liang_jieming
    China s rural poor left behind By Louisa Lim BBC, Ningxia Every time Jin Hua visits her parents, she has to walk for hours across the windblown, hostile hills.
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 1, 2004
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      China's rural poor left behind
      By Louisa Lim
      BBC, Ningxia

      Every time Jin Hua visits her parents, she has to walk for hours
      across the windblown, hostile hills.

      For her, hardship is a way of life. Poverty is ingrained from
      generation to generation.

      The family home is a cave scooped out of the yellow-earth hillside
      near the village of Liudian, in Ningxia province.

      The Jins cannot afford to build their own house, and there is no rent
      to be paid on a cave.

      Jin Hua's mother, Ma Yulian, also knows the pain that poverty brings.

      She has suffered from stomach-ache for years, and even though she now
      has a huge growth she still cannot afford to see a doctor.

      "I was so sick that I even went blind for some time," she said.

      "I can't sleep at night because of the pain. But I have no money to
      treat my disease."

      Her husband, Jin Xiaoting, scratches out a living from growing crops
      in the dry soil.

      He sells anything he can afford to, but last year he says he made just
      $30, and paid almost two-thirds of that in tax.

      He is bitter about how much of his meagre income he has to hand over
      to the state.

      "In 1994, the government said we wouldn't have to pay taxes any more,
      but it never happened," he said.

      "The central government's policies are good, but local officials don't
      usually follow them."

      Model village

      For many small farmers like Mr Jin, high taxes are a huge source of
      discontent.

      In effect, China's poorest citizens are subsidizing the modernisation
      of its cities.

      Now the gap between rich and poor in China is one of the biggest in
      the world - and the government has been forced to face up to the
      problem of poverty.

      Ma Fu, the mayor of Guyuan - one of China's poorest regions - seemed
      eager to show off a local poverty alleviation project, pointing out
      the new wells, fruit trees and cowsheds that villagers were given
      subsidies to build.

      "Any government must gain backing from the ordinary people. Here we
      give a lot of aid," he said.

      "Every house in every village here has accepted some sort of
      government help."

      His message looked persuasive on the surface - the model village has
      several new houses with shiny white tiles and televisions.

      But despite their new homes, the inhabitants did not seem happy.

      "This project hasn't really made us satisfied with our lives," said
      one young resident.

      In order to pay her school fees, her parents have both left the
      village to find work, and she had been left to tend the cows.

      "I have enough to eat but I have no energy," she said. "We've told the
      government about our situation, but they haven't helped."

      Dream of wealth

      Jin Hua and her family, sitting in their cave, always have potatoes
      and noodles for supper. In fact, for years, the family has eaten
      little else.

      For now it is just enough to satiate their hunger.

      The family say they have accepted their poverty, understanding that
      others must get rich first.

      It is with this prospect of wealth that China's leaders continue to
      maintain their grip over the countryside.

      But for the Jins, the days of plenty are simply a mirage.

      The Communist Party has built its legitimacy on lifting the poorest
      out of poverty.

      But now it is starting to fail them, and that could undermine its rule.
    • ming18ming2003
      Yea, this is very bad indeed. Still a big portion o fthe Chinese people, mostly peasants in the rural places, don t get any benefit out of this economic growth
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 1, 2004
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        Yea, this is very bad indeed. Still a big portion o fthe Chinese
        people, mostly peasants in the rural places, don't get any benefit
        out of this economic growth in China and that can be measured the
        most rapid economy power by GDP value. I have many contacts with the
        poor peasants inthe countryside. I remember, a family friend, a
        peasant, would sometimes come to my mum and ask for change of 50
        cents with an egg she got from her hen. So it's really heartbreaking
        to visit a poor peasant's home where there is nothing worth much...

        When Rich in DSL talked about the evils in the America society, I was
        actually thinking that it' true that the grass onthe other side of
        the hill is greener. Well, Rich or anyone, you should really come to
        China to see the other side of the reality of China, where people are
        starving to death, and you are saying you people in the United States
        don't get your medical fee covered... :-) ok, don't take it personal.

        Thanks Jieming, for doing all the work on behalf of the moderators,
        by digging out newsreports and happenings in China and post them
        here, this is part of the thigns we want to cover, somehow, probably
        like you all, my spare time is really short.

        Jane

        --- In ChineseCultureOnline@yahoogroups.com, "liang_jieming"
        <kitmengleong@y...> wrote:
        > China's rural poor left behind
        > By Louisa Lim
        > BBC, Ningxia
        >
        > Every time Jin Hua visits her parents, she has to walk for hours
        > across the windblown, hostile hills.
        >
        > For her, hardship is a way of life. Poverty is ingrained from
        > generation to generation.
        >
        > The family home is a cave scooped out of the yellow-earth hillside
        > near the village of Liudian, in Ningxia province.
        >
        > The Jins cannot afford to build their own house, and there is no
        rent
        > to be paid on a cave.
        >
        > Jin Hua's mother, Ma Yulian, also knows the pain that poverty
        brings.
        >
        > She has suffered from stomach-ache for years, and even though she
        now
        > has a huge growth she still cannot afford to see a doctor.
        >
        > "I was so sick that I even went blind for some time," she said.
        >
        > "I can't sleep at night because of the pain. But I have no money to
        > treat my disease."
        >
        > Her husband, Jin Xiaoting, scratches out a living from growing crops
        > in the dry soil.
        >
        > He sells anything he can afford to, but last year he says he made
        just
        > $30, and paid almost two-thirds of that in tax.
        >
        > He is bitter about how much of his meagre income he has to hand over
        > to the state.
        >
        > "In 1994, the government said we wouldn't have to pay taxes any
        more,
        > but it never happened," he said.
        >
        > "The central government's policies are good, but local officials
        don't
        > usually follow them."
        >
        > Model village
        >
        > For many small farmers like Mr Jin, high taxes are a huge source of
        > discontent.
        >
        > In effect, China's poorest citizens are subsidizing the
        modernisation
        > of its cities.
        >
        > Now the gap between rich and poor in China is one of the biggest in
        > the world - and the government has been forced to face up to the
        > problem of poverty.
        >
        > Ma Fu, the mayor of Guyuan - one of China's poorest regions - seemed
        > eager to show off a local poverty alleviation project, pointing out
        > the new wells, fruit trees and cowsheds that villagers were given
        > subsidies to build.
        >
        > "Any government must gain backing from the ordinary people. Here we
        > give a lot of aid," he said.
        >
        > "Every house in every village here has accepted some sort of
        > government help."
        >
        > His message looked persuasive on the surface - the model village has
        > several new houses with shiny white tiles and televisions.
        >
        > But despite their new homes, the inhabitants did not seem happy.
        >
        > "This project hasn't really made us satisfied with our lives," said
        > one young resident.
        >
        > In order to pay her school fees, her parents have both left the
        > village to find work, and she had been left to tend the cows.
        >
        > "I have enough to eat but I have no energy," she said. "We've told
        the
        > government about our situation, but they haven't helped."
        >
        > Dream of wealth
        >
        > Jin Hua and her family, sitting in their cave, always have potatoes
        > and noodles for supper. In fact, for years, the family has eaten
        > little else.
        >
        > For now it is just enough to satiate their hunger.
        >
        > The family say they have accepted their poverty, understanding that
        > others must get rich first.
        >
        > It is with this prospect of wealth that China's leaders continue to
        > maintain their grip over the countryside.
        >
        > But for the Jins, the days of plenty are simply a mirage.
        >
        > The Communist Party has built its legitimacy on lifting the poorest
        > out of poverty.
        >
        > But now it is starting to fail them, and that could undermine its
        rule.
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