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March 08, 2006
Riding the rural tiger
Another piece from the StratFor crowd on China's rural problems and how the central leadership is trying to leverage these problems to their advantage:
Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao have been touting the "New Socialist Countryside" initiative. The initiative is being painted as a priority for reducing China's widening rural/urban gap in the near term, and for creating a more sustainable and robust economic future in the long term. The problems of rural economic reform, the social gap and rural unrest rank high on the agenda of China's central leadership and in the current session of the National People's Congress (NPC). Potential solutions to these problems form the heart of China's 11th five-year economic plan (2006-2010).The rest continued below the jump.
posted by Simon on 03.08.06 at 12:57 PM in the China brief category.
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They are taking advantage of the role guanxi networks play in chinese stability. www.icgg.org/downloads/contribution10_schramm.pdf
They are hoping to build up trust by not responding negatively to demonstrations.
Brilliant move, but in the end, they still have to deliver a substantially higher standard of living at some point, and thats impossible, given the state of the Chinese economy.
Worse yet, their "reorganizations" are disrupting local social structure among the networks, which will induce cross network ties and social instability, the very things they are trying to avoid.
Accordingly, I am predicting massive social upheaval around 2010. An "A" for effort though.