Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Wealth Gap (The rural perspective as reported by the BBC) 4/4/06

Mrs Jin, Ningxia Province
"We don't understand matters of the state - we have to concentrate on making a living, on finding enough money to eat. We don't have time to pay any attention to politics."

Qin Guiying, Ningxia Province
"My husband died a long time ago so I brought up my children myself. My son died in a car accident. I have two grandchildren and I live in an old sun-dried mud house.
I have no money. The government gave us aid once three years ago, but never again. We cannot compare our lives to those who live in the city. I have no choices."

Wang Ran, Guizhou Province
"The agricultural tax is high. Government officials say they are going to reduce the rural taxes, but they haven't and we don't know when they will.
If they did reduce our taxes, that would really change our lives. We are so poor because there is no development here.
The government does give aid but for some reason there is hardly any allocated to this area. I have no way to buy fertilizer. We need economic help."

Tan Huijue, Guizhou Province
"We have a huge burden: we are really poor. If I could choose a place to live, I would choose Guiyang [the provincial capital].
I certainly hope our place could develop faster. But the government has no ability to help us. We are so poor here."

Yao Min, Guizhou Province
"Both our children have left the village to work in the cities. The central government leaders just care about themselves - not about the masses, not about the people.
The local officials only pay attention to the one child policy, so that they can collect fines from those who have more than one child.
If families don't have enough money to pay, they take things from their houses. If we become sick this will be a disaster for the family."


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