China tries to alleviate city-rural inequality – Jim Yardley

From the New York Times, via the International Herald Tribune (link):

Faced with rising inequality and unrest in the countryside, the Chinese government has formally announced major initiatives to expand health, education and welfare benefits for farmers but left unresolved the fundamental issue of whether farmers should be allowed to buy or sell their land.

In recent days, President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao have given speeches about the “new socialist countryside” initiative, while the National People’s Congress, the Communist Party-controlled legislature, is expected to make the rural program the centerpiece of a new five-year plan during its annual meeting next month.

See also “Editorial: Soundly push forward the building of a new socialist countryside” from the People’s Daily, and “A Not-So-New Socialist Countryside” from the Useless Tree blog.

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