» 12/19/2005, 00.00
Rural poverty threatens China's social stability, says UN report
Rural-urban divide in China is wider than in major capitalist nations. Tax system, health care, education and migrant labour management must be reformed in earnest before a "social schism" is created.
Rural-urban gap widening
Top 10 per cent owns almost half of all private assets. Urban incomes growing fast; rural areas get poorer as a result of land expropriation and soaring medical costs.
In crisis-hit China the economy and social stability key goals for Premier Wen
Optimism and caution are the main ingredients in the prime minister’s keynote address to the National People’s Congress. He pledges a series of measures to improve the economy during the mainland’s “most difficult year”. But no actual data about the real situation in the country are given. No new stimulus package is envisaged. Military spending is twice that of health care. Social unrest is up requiring a new early warning system.
Child mortality varies along urban-rural divide
A study by The Lancet shows that children in rural areas under the age of five are “three to six times” more likely to die than in urban areas. The government injects fresh cash into health care, but in cities. About 70 per cent of farmers never see a doctor.
World Bank to loan India 9 billion dollars for rural development
Suspicions abound that political and geo-strategic reasons are behind the aid.
Tensions in rural areas worry Beijing
A government official calls turmoil in rural areas a threat "social stability". The government tries to lower taxes by reducing corruption.
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