Yesterday I highlighted some of the exciting developments in Chinese NGOs, and briefly illustrated why they were needed (so far at the conference every speaker has emphasized the growing gap between rich and poor). Today I want to address a few of the challenges. Recently the gov’t has publicly taken a step away from civil society, but in practice remain strong supporters. I think this is partially because of the problems that are being highlighted, and partially because of scandals and fraud within some of these organizations. I think one of the major challenges for these NGOs is that the gov’t has already defined what a “harmonious society” should be, but has not actually engaged in any sort of discussion with the people about what […]
This week we have two stories that represent big picture issues facing China. The first is that finally farmers are able to receive pensions. They will receive 55yuan per month (about $9). Even though that is a tiny amount of money, even in China, this is the first progress we have seen in this area. Prior to this policy, elderly farmers had to rely on their children for assistance. If their children did not provide for them their choice was between abject poverty and suing their own family. This elderly population is referred to as part of the “left behind” group that also includes children and to a lesser extent wives, due to the massive migration of laborers to the cities. Let’s hope this project […]
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