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30 million people are starving in China
BEIJING - Thirty million people in China are starving because they do not get sufficient food each day.
Wang Yuzhao, President of the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, revealed this fact at the opening of the Third Annual China Village Head Forum in Kunming on November 10th.
According to Wang, many families who have secured sufficient food supplies are in danger of slipping back into malnutrition due to illness or natural disasters. Judging by the World Bank standard income of US$1 a day, there are 100 million Chinese people living in poverty.
The gross differences between urban and rural wages, the gap between workers’ wages and peasant wages, the inequality between regions and the economic inequalities among peasants are all going to worsen, Wang said.
The inequality between China’s eastern and western regions is also growing, he said. Twelve provinces in the west occupy 70% of the mainland’s territory and 28% of the population but earn only 18.5% of China’s GDP. Therefore, the chief obstacles to building a wealthy society lie in equalizing incomes between the industrial east and the rural west.
When speaking of the peasants’ burden, Wang noted that repeated efforts had been made to alleviate rural poverty, but none of these programs had lasted. The fundamental reason for this is that the financial burden on the County and Township governments is too large and tax revenues are not increasing. Much of the nation’s free capital has been invested into commercial enterprises in urban areas, leaving rural areas in increasing poverty. Until a means is found to stimulate rural investment, it will not be possible for all Chinese to have sufficient funds - or even sufficient food.
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