Image credit: @mseattle.
A nationwide poll of internet users carried out by the China Youth Daily has found that majority of respondents see the wealth gap and the growing wage disparity as by far the greatest threat to China’s prosperity in the coming decade.
More than 75 percent of respondents said the wealth gap will be the biggest problem for China’s development in the next 10 years, followed by the abuse of power (59.4 percent), entrenched interest groups (52.8 percent), ecological and environmental degradation (52.6 percent) and infringements on the rights of disadvantaged groups (50.3 percent).
Sixty-six percent of respondents chose income distribution as the top candidate for reform, while reforms related to fighting corruption and boosting the economy ranked slightly lower.
Respondents also listed health care, education and food safety as areas that are in need of improvement.
Wealth disparity in China is huge (not that it’s much better in numerous other countries), with GDP per person ranging from $4,031 in Gansu, to over $20,000 in Shanghai and Beijing (Macau and Hong Kong are even higher). This disparity and inequality is sustained in large part by the regressive hukou system, which prevents the free movement of people and hamstrings the meritocracy it supposedly promotes by tying children to their parents’ birthplaces.