China Girds for Future Shock
The Wall Street Journal is running a month-long feature on the rural-urban divide in China (available by subscription only):
China is a tale of two countries. One, on the eastern coast and including cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, presents immense opportunity for the roughly 400 million Chinese who live there, for farmers who live nearby and can sell produce to the cities, and for migrant workers who come from the countryside to find work.
Then there is the other China — inland and west, where more than 800 million Chinese live. These struggling farmers, laid-off workers, the unemployed and underemployed, pose an economic and political challenge to China’s boom. China’s leaders have made it a top priority to push growth deeper into the country. They, along with many foreign investors and analysts, fear the instability that could come from a widening wealth gap between the rich coast and poor interior.
This month The Wall Street Journal examines the country’s prospects beyond Beijing, looking at the government’s efforts to spur economic growth in the hinterland, the challenges facing foreign investors trying to do business there, as well as the political tensions and dramatic social changes already under way.
Thanks to Jimmy Goodrich for sending in this link.