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Wealth gap "widely felt" in China: newspaper


16:48, December 08, 2011

BEIJING, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- A social security expert stated that China's wealth gap has been "widely felt among the Chinese public" in a Thursday report on the People's Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Researchers' surveys showed that civil servants, private enterprise owners and employees are all feeling a sense of inequality in terms of how wealth is distributed in China, the newspaper quoted Zheng Gongcheng, a professor at Renmin University, as saying.

In a 2007 survey, only farmers felt that wealth distribution was fair, possibly because the government rescinded agricultural taxes and began to provide tuition waivers for rural students in 2006, Zheng said.

However, farmers said that they could perceive a wealth gap in another survey conducted in May 2010, Zheng said.

China's social security system should be improved to provide people with better expectations of stability and ease anxieties, Zheng said.

Zheng stressed that wealth gaps are a normal phenomenon in market economies, adding that the government should still be wary of the gap's widening tendency and eliminate inequality by cracking down on monopolization and corruption.

According to official statistics, in 2000, the average household disposable incomes of rural and urban families were 2,253 yuan (354 U.S. dollars) and 6,280 yuan, respectively, whereas in 2010, the figures stood at 5,919 yuan and 19,109 yuan, respectively, with the gap increasing by more than 9,000 yuan over the period.

Moreover, statistics revealed that the average salary of employees of the country's public-owned financial companies is more than four times the income of a worker in the agricultural industry.

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