July 08, 2015

"Lou has called for better implementation of residential registration (or hukou) reforms, particularly among affluent regions."

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 regional variations.

'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 balance?'

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