Farmers: China’s Most Honest Citizens – Laowiseass

From Laowiseass Blog:

“You come here when you want the truth. You won’t get it from them,” a farmer in Hebei province once told me during a news interview to learn what China’s estimated 800 million people with rural residence permits thought of some recent government action. The farmer — a loose term that covers lots of people with small rural businesses or urban blue-collar jobs rather than farms — meant that people from the countryside speak honestly and good luck getting the same from officials in Beijing.

He’s right.

The usual interview with a farmer goes something like this:
Reporter: “Hi. I’m from Kyodo News in Beijing. I’d like to know what you think about central government policy. It’s for a story we’re writing.”
Farmer: (Stops working or walking and nods that it’s OK to interview him.)
Reporter: “Have you seen the No. 1 document on income, education and healthcare?”
Very honest farmer: “No.”
Reporter: “Have you heard about it in the media?”
Farmer: “Seems like I have.”[Full Text]



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