South China Morning Post With slowing growth, will China fall into the “middle-income trap” as Finance Minister Lou Jiwei has warned? by Winston Mok
'With a per capita gross domestic product of US$7,600, China looks
like a middle-income country. But the national average masks great
'The affluent coastal areas of the Yangtze and Pearl river deltas have
achieved “first-world” status. Some cities in these regions, with
per-capita GDPs comfortably above US$12,000, have surpassed the
middle-income level; at US$24,000, Shenzhen’s is higher than Taiwan’s.
'Most regions are in the “second world”, with per capita income in the
US$5,000 to US$10,000 range. China’s third-world regions are not
confined to remote areas; next to affluent Beijing are poor areas in
Hebei with a per-capita GDP of just US$3,000.
'China’s leaders face tough choices. Do they focus on making the
coastal regions more successful, which may widen the gap with inland
regions, or do they upgrade the poorer regions to achieve better