Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A82-W30



Release Date: July 24, 2004



Topic: VOA Interviews Wei Jingsheng: Extreme Worsen Poverty in China



Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)





Voice of America YanQing's Interview:

Wei Jingsheng: Internal Conflicts in the Chinese Communist Party Benefit the People.


Original subject: Chinese Poverty Situation Worsened

Over 200 million living under poverty in China




Wei Jingsheng: Internationally known human rights and democracy activist and author. Chair of Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition. President of Wei Jingsheng Foundation.


Chen Youwei: Director of the China Forum in Washington, DC. Commentator on Chinese affairs.


Dr. Arthur Waldron. Professor of International Relations, University of Pennsylvania. Director of Asia Division of American Enterprises Research Institute.


The number of Chinese living under the poverty level has consistently increased in recent years. Last year alone the increase was 800,000.


Liu Jen, the head of the Office of Poverty in the Chinese State Council indicates that the poverty situation is very bad. According to government statistics there are 29 million living under poverty. The official poverty definition is US$ 0.20 per day or 637 Yuan per year. Experts point out that if one uses the 1US$ per day standard of the World Bank, China has more than 200 million people living under poverty.


Wei Jingsheng: Government statistics indicate internal struggle.


This is the first time in 20+ years that the Chinese Government has reported an increase in poverty. At the Global Conference on Poverty held in Shanghai a month ago, the Chinese Government proclaimed a huge achievement in eradicating poverty, saying "China has set an example for the other countries in large scale reduction of poverty". Observers point out that the Chinese Government now admits poverty has increased instead of decreased. It is an indication of an intensifying internal struggle.


Wei feels that the Chinese Communist Party has split into major factions. When that happens, the factions compete for public opinion, support and approval. Internal conflicts are exposed to the public. Recently there have been numerous exposures, including the Olympic corruption of tens of millions dollars. These exposures were announced officially. When internal struggle intensifies to a point that it cannot be revolved, it is brought outside for resolution.


Chen Youwei: Social discontent intensifying


Chen: Chinese economic development is benefiting many people - lifting their living standard. It is also intensifying discontent and increasing social conflict.


The excessive labor supply in the rural areas, yearly increase in unemployment from government and private enterprises, over-supply of professional graduates, taxes and other levies exceeding farmers' income, collusion of official and business lead to immense discontent. Additionally, confiscative land seizure has forced many non-poverty people into the poverty category. As a result, China's poverty populations are increasing in some categories and decreasing in others.


Chen points out that some Chinese officials think that the people have no power and cannot revolt. This status quo thinking is very dangerous.


Wei Jingsheng: Chinese Communist Party's Internal Conflict benefits the people.


Wei thinks that the internal struggles leading to the Government admitting increasing poverty will benefit the people.


Wei: If the Government was united, the people would suffer. Now that the Government is split, it has forced the exposure of the situation. Various factions will be forced to appeal to the people; to formulate and publicize solutions to win over the people.


Wei points out that the increasing disparity between the poor and the rich is the more serious situation. To some extent this is the result of the long-term policy of "take from the poor, give to the rich" and the widespread official corruption.


Wei: There are two reasons for the increasing poverty - both of them relate to politics. Due to the Party's long-term policy of "take from the poor, give to the rich", a few get rich first and rapidly. Some enter the list of the world's richest individuals. These few rich individuals living standards far exceed that of the Western society. The majority of the people are getting poorer. This process is extremely exploitive. It is the model of early, primitive capitalism where there are neither basic rights nor security for average citizens. This accelerates the disparity between the poor and the rich.


Another reason is the corruption of the officials, especially those in the poorer areas. They emulate the "city folks". They demand high-priced cars, high-priced houses, expensive restaurant meals, etc. The sources of this waste are exploited from their people. Official corruption and exploitive taxes and levies are the causes that drive people into poverty.


Waldron: precious resources are not used in sustainable development.


Chen: The immense discontent of those who struggle on the poverty line will be directed to the rich and the government. The discontent increases when they realize their powerlessness.


Dr. Waldron testified earlier before the US Senate's Committee on Foreign Relations that: China's official economic growth statistics should not be accepted without scrutiny. These statistics do not represent China is healthy on economic development.


Waldron: Government loans to private enterprise are only 1% of all loans. The majority of private savings and other resources controlled by the Government are not invested in sustainable and job creating development. This wasteful usage causes a huge loss for China that cannot afford such loss.


Wei Jingsheng: The Government must be responsible for eliminating poverty.


Wei pointed out that to really eliminate poverty in China requires a government responsive to the peoples' needs. It should not have a policy favoring the rich. It should have a policy that is fair to the entire populace.


Wei: The people are capable of solving their own problems. The Government should create a favorable environment to enable the people to take the initiative. Official exploitation robs the people of their meager and heard-earned wealth before accumulation. How can the people rise above poverty?



(Report Credit: Voice of America.  Translation Credit: Robert T. Huang.  The Wei Jingsheng Foundation is responsible for this version of the translation.)



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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A82-W30



Release Date: July 24, 2004



Topic: VOA Interviews Wei Jingsheng: Extreme Worsen Poverty in China



Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)





美国之音燕青报道:中国贫困形势极为严峻 (2004720)

































美国宾州大学国际关系教授林蔚(Arthur Waldron)博士早些时候在美国参议院外交委员会举行的听证会上说,中国对外公布的经济增长数字不可全信,而且那些增长数字不代表中国社会健康的经济发展。他说,政府给普通老百姓拥有的私营企业的贷款,在贷款总数中只占百分之一。老百姓辛辛苦苦攒下的钱、放在银行里的储蓄以及其他由政府控制的财源,大部份都没有被用到真正可持续发展、可以长期给社会提供就业机会的项目上。他说,这种浪费给中国社会带来巨大的损失,而且中国没有多少资源可以这么浪费。



















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