Minister: China’s Wealth Gap Widens – AP

Bad news for the Hu Jintao government’s efforts to ease the social disruptions of uneven economic growth. From the Associated Press via TIME:

The average city dweller’s income was 3.28 times that of a rural resident’s in 2006, up from 3.23 times in 2003, Agriculture Minister Sun Zhengcai said in a report to China’s legislature, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

The Xinhua report on Sun’s statement mentioned no new initiatives to narrow the income gap. Sun said income per person for the 900 million Chinese officially classed as rural residents rose 7 percent in 2007 to $550, according to Xinhua. It gave no comparative figures for cities, but the government has reported that incomes in Beijing, Shanghai and other big eastern cities are growing at double-digit annual rates. [Full Text]

[Image source: Jan Zdzarski Jr. via Flickr]

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