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Income inequality grows in China and threatens Xi’s ‘China Dream’

Income inequality grows in China and threatens Xi’s ‘China Dream’

Posted October. 20, 2017 07:56,   

Updated October. 20, 2017 08:57


At the National Congress of the Communist Party of China on Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping suggested the new goal of the second phase of his rule to realize the modernization of socialism by 2035, but he and the Communist Party of China are in a tough situation on the inside and the outside.

Gini’s coefficient, which shows the inequality in actual income distribution, marked 0.465 in 2016, which was the first increase in five years. Gini’s coefficient shows that the income is being unequally distributed as it is closer to one, and it is eval‎uated to be serious when it marks over 0.4. President Xi has cried for eradication of poverty and narrowing of the gap between rich and poor, but the actual results have become worse. The gap between the regions, and the gap between the urban and rural areas are serious as well. The average annual income of the urban residents in China for 2016 was 33,616 yuan (about 5.74 million won), marking about 2.7 times that of rural residents at 12,363 yuan.

In a speech at the opening of the congress on Wednesday, President Xi was praised for saying that he would hold onto the definition of the house as a place where people live in, not as a thing to speculate on, but the real estate prices in large cities of China are notorious. According to The New York Times, Xi claims that the source of social complaints is transforming into a new demand. It seems that the Chinese president has also sensed that growing economic and social inequalities are threatening the stability in China.

A Chinese researcher says that such a threat exists in every corner of China and the central government must play a bigger role in solving economic problems, according to The Wall Street Journal. Most of the new ideas suggested by Xi Jinping are all old stories told by the previous Communist Party, and there’s nothing new, BBC Chinese reported, quoting from Chinese historian Zhang Lifan.

At the Party Congress on Wednesday, President Xi revealed that he would modernize the socialism by 2035 as the first stage, and build the country with the greatest overall national power and worldwide influence in the world by 2050 as the second stage. While disclosing his plan to promote the first-class army in the world at mid-21st century, he has chosen the year of 2035 as the primary goal for the modernization of national defense and army.

The reason why the focus is on the year of 2035 is because Xi, currently aged 64, turns 82 in that year, and he has set a new goal he can achieve in his life. One more noticeable point is that the Chinese president said he would achieve the goals of 2035 by building “Xiaokang” (moderately prosperous) society by 2020 (within his years in office until 2022) and trying even harder for 15 more years. According to The Wall Street Journal, Xi has adjusted the future of China closer to his years in office and more distinct and it shows he is not willing to retire soon (after five years), which is his intention to remain (as the leader) even after those years.

Wan-Jun Yun zeitung@donga.com