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Human Rights & Social Issues

China facing widening inequities and corruption

China Daily InequalityIn spite of its spectacular rise as a global economic power, China is now grappling with concerns such as peasant income declining, widening inequity, worker unrest and corruption, farm productivity dwindling, according to Manoranjan Mohanty, political scientist and faculty member at the Council for Social Development, Delhi.

Delivering the Founder’s Day lecture organised by the Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS) in honour of Malcolm Adiseshiah on Thursday, Prof. Mohanty argued that while the reform process had spurred remarkable economic success, the consequences of over three decades of reforms had almost subjugated the country to a set of economic, social and political forces that formed a trap from which it was proving impossible for the Chinese government to take the country out.

It was the strategy of development followed by China since 1978, especially in the post-1992 phase, that created this “success trap.”

“Thus, despite all the accounts of achievements, there is a deep concern in contemporary China about a number of problems which afflict it even after over 30 years of success with economic reforms,” Prof. Mohanty said.

Pointing to the widespread social anxiety as the most clear problem, he said that China today represented one of the most unequal societies of the world as “the effects of reforms are so disparate that a lot of people feel alienated as they perceive others having gained far more than them.”

Rural reforms – which were in the 1980s described as the “third revolution,” had been neglected to such an extent that peasant incomes were declining, productivity in agriculture dwindling and the urban-rural income gap widening, he said.

Labor unrest and structural corruption

According to Prof. Mohanty, most illustrative of the nature of mass protests – which rose from 52,000 officially documented by the National People’s Congress in 2003 to an estimated 180,000 in 2010 – was the fact that more than two-thirds took place in the countryside and mostly involved local opposition to the take over of farm land for industrial purpose.

Labor unrest was also turning a common occurrence in China. Not only were the many retrenched workers restive, China’s manufacturing success fashioned out of sweatshop labor had meant that even serving workers found working conditions and wages unacceptable, he said.

In his view, the problem with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s approach to corruption as a governance issue than a structural issue was that corrective governance by itself could fail to curb the rising trend of multi-faceted corruption. The scope for corruption would persist and thrive in the very space created by a growth-centric economic strategy that sought high profits by managers and entrepreneurs through a liberalized and discretionary regime, he said.

China, after having emerged as the world’s second largest economy, was now faced with two sets of options as a global power; to pursue the big power road of iniquitous growth or take the more fair democratic road.

“In the coming months, Xi Jinping has to make clear choices on how to fight corruption… promote democracy… orient development toward equity, sustainability and build China as a democratic force for global peace and equity,” he said.

Source: The Hindu – ‘China facing widening inequities, corruption’

About Political Atheist

Living in South East Asia (Vietnam & Cambodia). At the ending/starting point of the more than 1000 year old SIlk Road.


4 thoughts on “China facing widening inequities and corruption

  1. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.


    Posted by OyiaBrown | April 22, 2013, 5:20 pm
  2. Welcome to the real world, China. When people are left to their own devices, some will lie, cheat and steal, others will be honest and take only what they earn and are entitled to, and others still will choose to under-perform with or without subsidies while still more choose to over-perform to improve their lives and to earn enough to help others.

    Capitalism is not for the weak of heart or mind and not for the lazy and shiftless. But, in spite of all of the problems brought about by individuals, it is easily controlled when the mind is set to purpose in bringing the frauds, the cheats and the lazy to trial and punishing them with severity. In the U.S. we reward them with grants, subsidies, free medical care and more for their ne’r-do-well ways and punish the productive and successful by stealing their hard earned property for redistribution to thugs, non-producers and corrupt leaders in industry, government, politics and the military.


    Posted by --Rick | April 23, 2013, 1:30 pm


  1. Pingback: Uneven economic growth in China’s regions | China Daily Mail - April 23, 2013

  2. Pingback: Restraint is the new red in China | China Daily Mail - May 25, 2013

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