Day 202: Income Inequality

A couple zip through the streets on an electric scooter

A couple zip through the streets on an electric scooter

Income inequality is something you hear about everyday, it is a real and growing problem around the globe, but it is not always something you think about when you think about China. Since the opening of China back in the 1980’s and it’s unique economic policies of “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” income inequality has exploded. Yes, economic reforms have lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, but in a country of 1.5 billion people that still leaves hundreds of millions of citizens in poverty. I live in one of the highrise buildings in the background, the ones with the balconies, central air conditioning and tinted glass windows;they are inhabited by expats and rich Chinese living in 250 – 400 square meter apartments, with ayi’s and drivers, they workout in the health club and swim in the lap pool. They drive Range Rovers and Porsche’s.
In front of those buildings is a typical Chinese neighborhood, or “New Village” as it is often called, six-story blocks of apartments–40 – 80 square meters– with retail shops below and street vendors lining the streets, This is where the ayi’s, the retail store clerks, the shop owners and security guards live, they ride bicycles and electric scooters, they drive the expats around in mini-vans and care for their children. This is the every day China.

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