China's record-breaking economic development over
the last few decades has helped hundreds of millions of
people not to live in deep poverty. But there are still
problems with poverty in the country and the income gaps
between the poorest fifth of the population and the
richest are large.
Inland rural and western provinces have slipped far
behind big cities and coastal regions in economic
development, and the income gap between rich and poor is
very large. The result has been a stirring
dissatisfaction in the countryside, which sometimes
results in open revolts. Farmers have demonstrated
against illegal local taxes, corrupt party pumps, rising
prices or because their leased land has been sold by
local politicians to give way to, for example, factories
and business complexes. In cities, too, protests have
flared up at regular intervals, often in connection with
the restructuring or closure of state industries or the
construction of new malls and hotels. Problems have
arisen in the form of rising unemployment, crime and
insecurity. Social unrest is common, especially in rural
areas. There is concern among Chinese decision-makers
that the number of protests should increase as a result
of economic growth slowing down in recent years. The
Communist Party has recognized the importance of trying
to reduce the deep income gaps and eradicate poverty.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in China, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
A special system for household registration, hukou,
has been used since the 1950s to register residents as
rural or urban residents, based on place of birth. It
has hit hard on the many migrant workers from the
countryside who have applied to the cities in search of
jobs. Since they are still registered in the country,
they are not covered by the rights, including education,
health care and social insurance, which apply to
registered city residents. Measures are in progress to
provide greater social security for labor migrants and
access to welfare systems in smaller and medium-sized
cities. The big cities are much more reluctant to ease
Women are discriminated against in many areas of
society. They work in most professions, but usually earn
less than men and more women than men do not have a job.
Men are mainly working in the party and state apparatus,
although the number of women has increased during the
The rising number of pensioners whose share of the
population increases as a consequence of the one-child
policy (see Population and languages) and increased
welfare, is expected to become an increasingly heavy
supply burden for the working population. The fact that
the statutory retirement age is so low makes matters
worse. Women are still entitled to retire at age 50 if
they work in factories and at age 55 if they are civil
servants, while men retire at 60. The government wants
to gradually raise the retirement age so that by 2045 it
should be 65 for both men and women..
Under the old pension system, employers have paid the
majority of the contributions, while the employees have
paid a smaller part. But the system has worked poorly
because employers rarely fulfill their obligations.
Instead, new pension insurance is being introduced,
which is to a greater extent based on employees' own
payments. Yet many rural residents and labor migrants
lack access to pensions and are forced to rely on
family, relatives or friends for their living.
Almost all Chinese are covered by health insurance,
but low reimbursement levels are a problem here as well.
Women are entitled to 14 weeks paid leave when they give
birth to children.
The health and medical services are mainly located in
the cities, where more and more private health clinics
have been added. In the countryside, there is a shortage
of educated staff as well as health care facilities,
while many cannot afford to seek help. The Chinese
combine Western methods with traditional medicine such
as the use of acupuncture and herbal medicine. Major
successes have been achieved in the health field since
1990, among other things, the mortality rate for
children under five has dropped by two thirds and the
average life expectancy has increased.
However, respiratory-related illnesses are a
widespread problem due to poor air quality in cities and
hundreds of thousands of people are estimated to die
prematurely due to environmental problems. Among
infectious diseases, lung diseases, such as
tuberculosis, and hepatitis B are common. Many Chinese
people are now also suffering from welfare disorders
such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and
Alzheimer's disease, while the proportion of overweight
people has tripled in the last 15 years.
During the 1990s, tens of thousands of people were
infected by rogue blood banks in Henan Province. A virus
of previously unknown type, SARs, hit southern China in
2003. At the end of 2019, another so-called coronavirus,
related to SARs, began to spread in Hubei Province. From
there, it spread to other parts of China and also to
several countries around the world. After the country
introduced harsh quarantine rules, sampling and travel
bans, the number of new domestic cases of covid-19
decreased, the disease caused by the corona virus. By
then, over three thousand people in China had died of
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
7 per 1000 births (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
95.8 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
84.8 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
5.3 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
US $ 398 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
25 percent (2018)
Increased microblogging monitoring
Authorities are tightening control over social media, including the popular
micro-bloggers, where bloggers now have to sign their own names.
Imprisonment for regime critics
Author Chen Wei is sentenced to nine years in prison for rioting against the
state. He has published articles on foreign websites criticizing the political
system in China. Another regime critic, Chen Xi, is sentenced for the same crime
to ten years in prison.
Activist chief in Wukan
Mass protests erupt in the village of Wukan in Guangdong Province in southern
China after a man died in police custody. The body is said to bear signs of
abuse, but authorities say the man died of heart problems. He was a
representative of upset villagers who in the fall accused local officials of
illegally selling land leased by villagers without giving them adequate
compensation. The villagers are shortly thereafter heard for their protests and
the demand for two local party officials to resign after talks with high party
representatives in the province. It all ends with one of the villagers, Lin
Zulian, becoming party leader in Wukan with the task of organizing elections for
a new city council. His representative is being investigated for corruption.
New rules for journalists
Authorities prohibit journalists from passing on information from
microbloggers if they have not been able to confirm it by several sources.
US plans are criticized
China is responding with annoyance to the announcement that the US will
deploy a military base with marines in northern Australia - a way for the Obama
administration to meet the growing threat from China in East and Southeast Asia.
Two Tibetan teenagers in Sichuan, probably former monks, set fire to
themselves in protest of Beijing's rule.
Military aid to Taiwan is criticized
The Chinese government sharply criticizes a US-Taiwan settlement for
modernizing Taiwanese F-16 fighter aircraft.
Land sales are being investigated following protests
After several days of protests in a village in Guangdong Province in southern
China, the authorities promise to review the sale of agricultural land for the
construction of factories. Hundreds of angry villagers protested that they were
losing their arable land as a result of unfair sales. A local police station and
local government buildings had been attacked.
Uighurs are imprisoned
Four Uighurs are sentenced to death for terrorism, murder and arson in
Xinjiang. Two more Uighur men receive long prison sentences for participating in
the attacks in Hotan and Kashgar in July.
New leader of Tibetan exile government
Lobsang Sangay takes over as new head of government for the Tibetan exile
Attacks in Xinjiang
Dozens of people are killed in riots in Xinjiang: a police station in Hotan
is attacked in mid-July and later in the month an attack is carried out in
Kashgar. Authorities claim that militant Uighurs are behind.
Tensions between Vietnam and China
In mid-June, the Chinese regime sends a patrol boat to the South China Sea.
In recent days, Vietnam and China have again been drawn into a conflict over the
rights to islands and water in the South China Sea. While Vietnam accused China
that a Chinese fishing boat with diligence would have destroyed Vietnamese
vessels' pipelines to investigate the presence of oil, Beijing claimed
Vietnamese boats were in Chinese territory.
Ai Weiwei drops
Artist Ai Weiwei is released on bail in June after admitting "tax offenses"
according to official records. The authorities also refer to his poor health.
Protests after murder in Inner Mongolia
After a Mongol shepherd has been run over by a man from the ethnic group, he
in the autonomous Inner Mongolia demonstrates thousands of Mongols in different
parts of the region. Two male Chinese are reported to have been arrested for the
Clashes after Tibetan self-burning
A young monk sets fire to himself in a Tibetan monk monastery in Sichuan
Province to remind of the violence in Lhasa in 2008. The incident leads to
clashes between monks and security forces. 300 donuts are sent to "training
Ai Weiwei grips
The famous artist and well-known regime critic Ai Weiwei, one of the creators
of the Beijing Olympic Stadium, is arrested by police when he is boarding a
plane to Hong Kong. According to authorities, he is suspected of financial
Prison for activist
Democratic activist Liu Xianbin is sentenced to a 10-year prison sentence.
Safety at nuclear power plants is reviewed
The government decides to temporarily suspend the construction of new nuclear
power plants. The damage to nuclear power plants following the earthquake
disaster in Japan means that they want to review the safety and safety
regulations of the new nuclear power plants being built.
New Tibetan political leader
Tibetan leader Dalai Lama announces that he intends to submit a bill that
would allow him to step down as political leader of the exile government. On
March 20, a new leader of the exile government and elections to the Tibetan
exile parliament will be held. Lobsang Sangay, a Tibetan lawyer from India who
trained at Harvard in the United States, received just over half the votes.
Second largest economy
China ranks Japan as the world's second largest economy, statistics for 2010
State visit to the United States
President Hu Jintao meets with US President Barack Obama during his first US
visit since 2006. Trade agreements worth about $ 45 billion are signed.