China's poor beg for change
Published: Saturday, March 2, 2013, 7:36 p.m.
China's new leadership that formally takes over this month can radically improve Chen Qiuyang's life by even one change — providing running water in her village in a remote corner in the province of Gansu.
“We have to carry water from the well on our shoulders several times a day. It's exhausting,” Chen, who looked older than her 28 years, said while resting on a stool outside her home after completing another trip to the well.
Communist Party Chief Xi Jinping takes over as China's new president on Tuesday during the annual meeting of parliament. Bridging the widening income gap in the vast nation is one of his foremost challenges.
Xi effectively has been running China since assuming leadership of the party and military — where real power lies — in November. He already has projected a more relaxed, softer image than his stern predecessor Hu Jintao.
He faces pressure to tackle problems accumulated during Hu's era, such as inequality and pervasive corruption. Circumstances have given rise to often violent outbursts in the world's second-biggest economy.
Outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao is likely to address these issues in his last “state of the nation” report at the National People's Congress to nearly 3,000 delegates. Their ranks include CEOs, generals, political leaders and Tibetan monks, as well as some of the nation's richest businessmen.
China now has 317 billionaires — a fifth of the total number in the world — and is on track to overtake the United States as the largest luxury-vehicle market by 2016.
Yet the United Nations says 13 percent of China's 1.3 billion population, or about 170 million people, still live on less than $1.25 a day.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mandela closes American divide, as Obama, Bush, Hillary share flight to Johannesburg
- Assad forces regain control of key town
- Putin dissolves, replaces Soviet-era news agency
- South Korea ups air defense ante
- Japan irate over China’s air defense zone declaration
- North Korea purges Kim Jong Un’s powerful uncle