Poverty in China

Poverty in China

‘It changed my life’: China’s poverty eradication plan pays dividends
For a mother, no burden is insurmountable. And a 32-year-old Beijing woman, whose image went viral a decade ago on the first day of the Spring Festival is living proof of this. Shown struggling under the weight of a bulging bag that was strapped to her back, a baby in one hand and a backpack gripped by the other, the photograph – and mother’s plight - broke hearts across China when it was released online. Since then, the photographer and journalist Zhou Ke has attempted to find the subject of the photo – a haunting depiction of the hardship and poverty faced by millions. After an eleven-year search, Zhou last month finally realized his dream when he tracked down the woman and made the heart
Aching hopelessness: Nobody was there to help a young man falling through the cracks of Chinese society
When Mocha, an obscure 22-year-old video game streamer, died, his cause of death was said to be diabetes. But one close friend who knew him suspected a different reason for the young man’s passing: extreme poverty.  An obituary published by his friend paints a vivid portrait of a man who descended into extreme poverty, and it has laid bare class struggles that are a defining characteristic of life in China.  Mocha, surnamed Chen, died of diabetic complications sometime in early January, his friend wrote in the online obituary published last Thursday.  Last year, he was diagnosed with sarcoma (a form of cancer) on his nose. He also had diabetes and liver problems. The nose tumor was treated,
Live in a poor area? Don't smoke or you're more likely to be poor yourself
Families with smokers from poor parts of China are 10% more likely to live in poverty than people from the same region who don’t smoke.  A recent study by a Beijing-based research team found over 23% of families with at least one smoker were found be to be poverty-stricken, compared with just over 13% of those without. The survey analyzed more than 2,400 households in eight less-developed provinces in China. Overall, the tobacco use rate in poor areas is higher than the national average, according to the research released last Thursday conducted by a team from Beijing Normal University’s School of Social Development and Public Policy.  More than 34% of the population in poor areas smoke, co
The weird, wacky and wonderful newsmakers of 2020 in Greater China
The year 2020 will be everyone’s to remember, no matter how much we would like to forget.  Living through a pandemic that has changed lives and the course of history, and the ripple effects will be felt for years to come.  But it also reminded us of our core humanity, be it racing to save our beloved pets, some whimsy in the form of a camel or our willingness to get outraged over minor slights.  As a holiday treat, we have selected five stories that reminded us of the complexity and audacity of life in an unusual year.  In late January and early February, after the Chinese government locked down Wuhan, pet owners who couldn’t return to their homes begged for help to make sure their furry lo
This Chinese town is selling a 20-year property lease for US$1,000
A rural town in northeast China has a unique strategy to jumpstart its economy: offer ridiculously low rent to city elites who crave a country getaway.  The Dashuibo local government hopes it can attract talent and money to the area by incentivizing city dwellers to become part-time residents and help raise the economic tide to lift all people.  The rental deals to kickstart this plan are absurdly cheap. For about US$1,000, a person can rent a farmhouse with a backyard for 20 years in the town of about 35,000 residents located in the eastern province of Shandong.  However, the deal does come with some commitments from the prospective tenant. They must spend at least US$30,000 to renovate the
China is close to ending absolute poverty. Now for the really hard part
Jifu Jifuzi was living in an isolated village on a mountain cliff in southwestern China just as other members of the Yi ethnic minority had done for generations. The remote location in Sichuan province originally helped the community to avoid conflicts but ultimately it meant they were left behind as China modernized. The family – Jifu, his wife and three adult children – were living in a mud house with a fire in the center of the room and their chickens and pigs next to their home. When it rained, the roof leaked and mountain roads were too muddy to go anywhere. But things started to improve rapidly in 2018, after Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture –
Menstruation is holding back girls in parts of China. These teens try to help
When the fundraising campaign started last week, 17-year-old high school student Joyce Peng thought the target might have been too ambitious. The plan was to raise 90,000 yuan ($13,100) for sanitary products for girls in a remote, mountainous part of southwest China. Joyce and her friends, part of a feminist club called Stand TogetHer in Chengdu, Sichuan province, launched the online charity campaign. Their doubts were quickly erased. In just over a day, the group raised just under 125,000 yuan ($18,240) to help 700 impoverished girls at a primary school in Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture, one of the poorest parts of the country, access sanitary products. “I’m very excited and so happy,”
China’s poor are hit twice in coronavirus outbreak
The economic disruption caused by the Covid-19 outbreak is taking its toll on China’s poorest people as experts and the country’s leaders warned it could undermine its poverty reduction drive. The disease has killed more than 2,000 people and seen many parts of the country go into lockdown, damaging both rural and urban economies and pushing some of those affected back into poverty. Five years ago President Xi Jinping of China promised to eradicate absolute poverty in the country and build what he called a “comprehensive well-off society” by 2020. At the end of last year, 5.5 million people in rural areas remained in poverty – down from 99 million in 2012, according to the National Bureau o
Chinese student who died of malnutrition never received bulk of donations
A Chinese charity has come under fire after it admitted that a large amount of money donated by the public did not reach a poverty-stricken college student suffering from complications due to malnutrition. She eventually died. The case of Wu Huayan, 24, who became ill because she had been subsisting on only rice and pickled-peppers for years, highlighted the challenges that China faces in its drive to eradicate poverty by 2020, which is a major policy goal for the Communist Party.  China has managed to successfully pull a large portion of its population out of poverty since it began market reforms in the late 1970s. However, the country now has one of the most unequal economies in the world,
China province, population 80 million, says only 17 people live in poverty
A Chinese province of 80 million people has claimed that only 17 residents, from six families, remain in poverty, sparking intense debate about the veracity of official anti-poverty statistics. The coastal province of Jiangsu is the first to declare a near elimination of absolute poverty – which is defined in China as per capita net income of 2,300 yuan ($331) in 2011 prices – as part of President Xi Jinping’s drive to wipe it out and build China into a comprehensive well-off society by 2020. China has yet to publish official statistics for all of 2019, but the government has said the number of people in poverty was cut to 16.6 million at the end of 2018 and an additional 10 million were lif