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International Issues - Now even them
D E V E L O P M E N T : C H I N A

Now even them
China suffers income inequality

   The ‘long march’ of the famed Chinese resurgence as the economic super power seems to have failed to bridge the big divide in China. The China Development Report, brought out by UNDP, contends that inequalities have sharpened over the economic reform period post-1979.now even them Intra-rural, intra-urban and rural urban inequalities have witnessed a rise in the 1990s. The most glaring disparity relates to the sharp increase of the ratio of urban-rural per capita income, which increased from 1.86 to 3.11 between 1985 and 2002. It can be contended that given the amenities currently provided to urban Chinese, like subsidies for housing, rent, medical care and education, even these figures are grossly underestimated, because, if these subsidies are removed, then the same ratio would climb by around 400%, making the inequality the highest in the world. A similar report commissioned by the OECD also contends that China faces an acute form of inter-regional disparity. Even the ratio of per capita income of eastern to central states has gone up from 1.42 in 1997 to 1.52 in 2003. The real challenge for planners is to spread the riches from coastal regions to the hinterland of China. The Chinese system stands to face grave danger if these concerns are not addressed at the earliest.

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