Reforms Urged to Ease Chinese Urban-Rural Income Gap

Alarmed by the growing income gap between urban and rural Chinese, government officials call for urgent reform to ease the economic burden on the estimated 800 million people living in the nation's rural areas. The rural poor have seen their incomes drop during the last five years as crop prices have fallen and subsidies from the central government have declined. The government is not motivated purely by good will — it recognizes that its own survival would be threatened if rural discontent gets out of hand. NPR's Rob Gifford reports from Beijing.



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