Traveling In China

Carl J Johnson By Carl J Johnson, 26th May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Asia>China>Beijing & Around

The wealth gap in Chinese Community has increased with the difference between the wealthiest and the poorest having risen from as much as four times in 1978 and to almost 13 times today.

The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City, located at the center of Beijing municipality, was the seat of power for 24 emperors from 1406 to 1911. It took thousands of artisans, and 14 years to complete the colossal complex spread over 720.000 square meters. 9.000 bays of halls and rooms which get a symbol of China’s monarchial grandeur built on the blood and sweat of its toiling peasantry. Significantly, however, the main entrance to the imperial city, Tiananmen or the Gate of Heavenly Peace, connects the past with the present in a curiously fatalistic approach.

Indeed, the wealth gap in Chinese community has increased phenomenally with the difference between the wealthiest and the poorest having risen from as much as four times in 1978 to almost 13 times today.

The Chinese Economy Today

We have a substantial economic freedom in China today. It is without political empowerment of the citizen. Corruption and nepotism are predictable outcomes of this situation. The middle class is too tiny to change the system. According to one estimate, middle-class groups with income ranging from 2,500 dollars to 10,000 dollars per year constitute less than five percent of the population. By contrast, lower income groups even in wealthier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou do not receive more than 900 dollars a year. About 60 percent of China’s population still lives in the countryside, with per capita income less than 300 dollars per year.

Having said that, one cannot ignore China’s enormous population base of 1.3 billion people. Even at five percent, the country’s middle-income part numbers at 65 million people. These people are the architects of the future China which, many observers predict, will be the leading economic powerhouse of the world by the end of the decade. A glimpse of this can be had in Beijing’s scores of multi-storey shopping malls where customers literally fall over each other to move ahead. Its vast and stylish hotels are crawling with guests, as are its eating houses, bars and discotheques.

The Finest Tourist Attraction

The Forbidden City is not so forbidden anymore. It is one of China’s finest tourists’ attractions where hundreds of hawkers accost visitors and shove tourist books in their faces, quoting prices with massive margins for bargain. Finally, China is waking up from decades of slumber.


China, Tourists, Travel

Meet the author

author avatar Carl J Johnson
Born in Turku, Finland. Now living Sweden. A criminal defence lawyer for almost 40 years. Now retired. Fond of writing and reading. Spears. Swedish, Finnish, German and English.

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