The Urban-Rural Divide

Photo courtesy of Bob Grant

This morning Bob Grant posted Contradiction of Times at Speak Without Interruption, an international online magazine. He shows visually and through words the discrepancy in lifestyles that he has witnessed between China’s cities and countryside. There is a reason for this discrepancy. After Mao died and China started down the road toward Social Capitalism, the central government decided to focus growth and modernization in the cities.

However, when Hu Jintao became president in 2002, he responded to the rising social tensions and China’s wealth gap by advocating a drive to build a “harmonious society”. He promised greater spending on health and education in rural areas where eight-hundred million Chinese live. Prior to that, most of China’s efforts at growth and modernization took place in the cities.  What we see in China’s cities today took place over a period of more than thirty years. It may take longer to improve the living standards of rural Chinese, but if the current government is going to survive, they have no choice.

Photo courtesy of Bob Grant

To learn more, I suggest you read this BBC piece about China’s Country Profile. Hu Jintao was reelected in 2008 for another five-year term. China has a two five-year term limit for public office.

Discover China’s Stick People


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

One Response to The Urban-Rural Divide

  1. […] more about the urban-rural gap in […]

Comments are welcome — pro or con. However, comments must focus on the topic of the post, be civil and avoid ad hominem attacks.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: