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Author Topic: China's rural millions left behind  (Read 1020 times)

Sportsdude

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China's rural millions left behind
« on: Mar 07 06 06:34 »
[DIV class=logo][img height=34 alt="BBC NEWS" src="http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/printer_friendly/news_logo.gif" width=163] [/DIV][DIV class=headline]China's rural millions left behind [/DIV][!--Smvb--]
[TBODY][TR][TD vAlign=bottom][!--Smvb--]By Rupert Wingfield-Hayes
BBC News, Beijing [!--Emvb--][/TD][/TR][/TBODY][/TABLE]
[!--Emvb--][DIV class=bo]

[/DIV]In Britain people tend to think of the countryside as a rural idyll, a bucolic landscape of green fields and happy folk. In China, if they can, people try not to think about the countryside at all. When they do, it is not of a rural idyll, but a grim, dirty place where people are poor and life is harsh. In Britain the countryside is somewhere to escape to. In China it is somewhere to escape from. [DIV class=bo]China's urban population has a strong tendency to look down on country folk. The word for "farmer" in Chinese has a distinctly pejorative flavour. "Rural people are of a very low quality" is a phrase you often hear in Beijing. And rural people are not just treated like second class citizens, they are. Almost everything in the countryside is worse than in the cities, according to popular belief. People say the schools are bad, the teachers awful; there are very few doctors, and hardly any clinics or hospitals; local communist party officials are invariably corrupt, and often abuse their power for personal gain. In the last decade, two things have happened to make the tension between the city and the countryside worse. Urban shift One is that the countryside has begun moving to the city. Between 100 and 150 million Chinese peasants have quit their villages and headed to the cities to look for work.

[/DIV][DIV class=ibox]
[TBODY][TR][TD width=5][/TD][TD class=fact][DIV class=sih]HOUSEHOLD REGISTRATION [/DIV][!--Smva--][DIV class=bull]From 1953, people classed as rural or urban residents [/DIV][DIV class=bull]Rural residents denied rights of city dwellers, mainly to stop them migrating to towns [/DIV][DIV class=bull]System now faces abolition in 11 out of 23 provinces [/DIV][!--Emva--][!--So--]
[!--Eo--][!--Smiiib--][/TD][/TR][/TBODY][/TABLE][/DIV][DIV class=bo]The second is that the city is moving to the countryside. As China's urban centres boom they are gobbling up farmland at a voracious rate. A total of 16 million acres (6,475,000 hectares) have gone in the last 20 years. The tens of millions who have moved to the cities find themselves treated like second class citizens there too. In a system akin to South Africa's apartheid, people born in rural China find it almost impossible to become full urban residents. They are denied access to urban housing and to urban schooling for their children. Work is found in factories or on construction sites. Life is a tenuous, hand-to-mouth existence. Last year the Chinese internet buzzed with the story of a rural migrant from north-west China sentenced to death for a brutal double murder. The man had stabbed his victims to death during a fight at a construction site. The argument began when he went to claim back-wages. It turned out the man had not been paid for two years. Land grab The only security these rural migrants enjoy is their piece of land back in their village. But that too is now under threat.

[/DIV][DIV class=bo]In China, agricultural land is owned communally. In theory each village owns the land around it. Each family holds its bit of land on a long term lease. Farmland used to be almost worthless. But as China's cities expand it is now in high demand. What happened to the village of Yangge, on the edge of Beijing, is typical. Yangge sits along a picturesque river 25km north of the city centre. It is just the sort of area in which Beijing's wealthy new middle class might like to own a spacious suburban villa. That is exactly what a Beijing property developer thought. He paid several million dollars to acquire the land from the local township government. The villagers were never consulted, and they saw none of the money. Now, less than 100m from the village, rows of huge new American-style homes are rising out of the fields. A thousand are to be built. The asking price - close to $1m each. All over China land disputes like this are turning violent. Late last year three people were shot dead by police in southern Guangdong province during a violent protest against another land seizure. Villagers said the number killed was closer to 20. The anger and bitterness emanating from China's countryside is not so much about poverty, as about fairness. People see their land being taken from them and then turned into $1m-homes. They see local officials lining their own pockets, while the villagers get nothing. They spend years away from home working on construction sites and in Dickensian factories, only to be cheated of their wages by unscrupulous bosses. This week Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao promised to bring prosperity to China's countryside. But without fundamental change in the way China works, its 700 million peasant farmers will remain second class citizens.

[/DIV][DIV class=footer]Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/4782194.stm

Published: 2006/03/07 13:17:13 GMT

BBC MMVI[/DIV][DIV class=footer] [/DIV][DIV class=footer][img height=152 alt="Children eating in rural Anhui province - archive photo" hspace=0 src="http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41412000/jpg/_41412206_afp_rice203.jpg" width=203 border=0] [DIV class=cap]China's reforms have seen millions of people leaving the countryside[/DIV][DIV class=cap] [/DIV][DIV class=cap] [/DIV][DIV class=cap][img height=152 alt="Migrant workers in Chinese city - archive picture" hspace=0 src="http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41412000/jpg/_41412204_ap_scavenge203.jpg" width=203 border=0] [DIV class=cap]Newcomers to the cities are treated as an underclass[/DIV][/DIV][/DIV][/DIV][/DIV][DIV class=footer]
 [/DIV]
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Sportsdude

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Re: China's rural millions left behind
« Reply #1 on: Mar 07 06 06:40 »
Its like the tale of two cities except this is a tale of two countries. Old China versus New China. This is the developing world's delema. China and India need figure out this problem or they will not survive.  Atleast 300 million people in India live in extreme poverty.  In China it could be two folds.  
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none

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Re: China's rural millions left behind
« Reply #2 on: Mar 07 06 08:09 »
China and India are going to be the death of the world. Every single threat to the planet and its people started because of them. I say just Nuke em.

Tango

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Re: China's rural millions left behind
« Reply #3 on: Mar 07 06 08:13 »
none wrote:
China and India are going to be the death of the world. Every single threat to the planet and its people started because of them. I say just Nuke em.

Who let the retards out?
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kitten

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Re: China's rural millions left behind
« Reply #4 on: Mar 07 06 08:38 »
There's always got to be some idiot rearing his/her ugly head.
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P.C.

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Re: China's rural millions left behind
« Reply #5 on: Mar 07 06 09:05 »
"China and India are going to be the death of the world. Every single threat to the planet and its people started because of them. I say just Nuke em."[/DIV] [/DIV]What an ugly thing to say, none.  The death of this world will surely be hatred, and I see you're doing your part to speed it along.
Sir Isaac Newton invented the swinging door....for the convenience of his cat.

 

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