Thursday, January 20, 2005

Two views of China

A couple of years ago I worked with a Chinese woman who was attending graduate school here in the US. She told me that in some rural villages in China the people are so poor that members of a family have to share one suit of clothes, and that because of this, family members have to take turns going outside their homes. The woman said that people in her home city collected money to buy clothes for the farmers in one village, but when they sent it to them, corrupt local officials intercepted and kept it.

These pictures on the EastSouthWestNorth site show conditions that are not quite that bad, but almost. With conditions like these, it's easy to see why girls and young women from these impoverished areas go to the large cities to work in factories, where they are kept in virtual slavery, working an average of 14 hours a day under unsafe conditions.

Contrast with this article from the same site. You could probably find pictures showing examples of this type of economic disparity in most of the Third World countries, as well as the US.
But in China, it seems more prevalent.


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