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Why are some parts of China so rich while other parts are so poor?

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Introduction

Why are some parts of China so rich while other parts are so poor? China today is going through an age of a fight for wealth, freedom and the division of wealth. Over the past centuries China has been divided into two areas: large cities in which many live in considerable wealth, where there is a rapidly increasing availability of well-paid jobs and a strong industrial economy. On the other hand, the other side of China is of poor towns and cities and rural areas struggling and failing to climb on even the first rung of the ladder of the richer cities' increasing wealth. China still has to cope with the cost of its disastrous 'rush to riches'. As a result of the economic revolution, many people have suffered and lost their lives. Men have died to fuel the economic revolution and many still mine; it is the only job that is left in some of the poorer parts of China, and with the low pay they struggle to feed their large families. There are often disasters in the mines and then the families are left behind to fend for themselves. An article in The Times last year shows a picture of widows and children of miners who were killed last year in the Shangxu mining disaster. 'Every 52 minutes a minor dies somewhere in China.' Poor families are left to live in destitution, while the mine owners continue to take the profits made by their exploited and cheap workforce. ...read more.

Middle

He wrote a second five-year plan. In the Great Leap Forward he developed the idea of cooperatives into a system of communes on a large scale. This led to ordinary people building schools, dams, bridges and operating blast furnaces. By 1958 there were 26,000 communes in China. He later intended to mobilise the country after agricultural and industrial productivity, by introducing the 'Great Leap Forward.' His aim was to eliminate poverty in China. Mao encouraged the public to get together and leave their current jobs, so that they could concentrate on building a dam and great furnaces, for steel production. He maintained that this would make them rich and seemed single-minded in his aim without considering the consequences that might result. The public worked on building the dam and furnaces, neglecting their families, farms and crops, also their jobs. Chinese peasants were so desperate to meet their steel production targets that Mao had set them, that they even melted their cooking woks and bicycles, turning the once useful objects back into raw materials they started off as. The people had no knowledge or the skills necessary to produce steel of a sufficiently high standard; the steel they finally produced was useless. Mao also wanted to double food production, setting a target for the public to meet each day. Without modern machinery and processes, the peasants had no idea how to double the food production; they resorted to planting double the amount of seeds and the closely packed crops died. ...read more.

Conclusion

He took communism far too seriously, trying to drain the country of all capitalism, which is unrealistic and impossible: there is always going to be someone better off than the rest. Although Mao thought that he was doing the right thing in trying to make China rich and communist, his plans and actions led to terrible consequences. He ruled as a dictator without accepting advice or criticism, which might have avoided some of the crises that occurred. China is still suffering from the damage caused by Mao. Millions of people were killed in the 'Great Leap Forward,' also the 'Cultural Revolution,' and the majority of the adults today are uneducated. However, China's problems pre-date the C20th. Deng and Mao were trying to get rid of the problems that China faced after centuries of rule by Dynasties and Emperors. In 1850 the population of China was twice that of the whole of Europe. China had withdrawn from the rest of the world, becoming insular and avoiding contact with other countries. It had been due to the arrogance of the Emperors to consider that China could stand-alone in the world and be independent, without needing to learn from the rest of the world. Mao Zedong held this attitude centuries later. It is a shame that lessons from the past were not learned, so that the suffering of the people could have been avoided in the 20th century. While the policies of the Emperors and Mao caused great hardship, Deng has succeeded in making some people wealthy, however the responsibility for the wealth imbalance of China today lies with him. ...read more.

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