Rural Discontent Spotlights Those Left Behind – Breffni O’Rourke
China’s economy again surged ahead in the past year, with a growth rate calculated at almost 10 percent. The sustained expansion in recent years has brought affluence to millions of urban Chinese. But in the countryside, millions of farmers have been left behind by the market reforms, or are having their land taken away, or are suffering the pollution accompanying massive industrialization. The Chinese leadership has recognized the risk this poses to internal stability but seems unable to find a cure because of its fear of political liberalization.