Against the background of a persistent rise in the Gini co-efficent for China as a whole, already reaching .53 in 2004 according to Chinese government surveys, the Hu-Wen leadership announced the urgent need to construct a “harmonious society” as a response to instability, triggered by rapidly widening income gaps. There is now a large and sophisticated scholarly literature on the measurements, trends, dimensions, politics and attitudinal surveys of social inequality in China (e.g. Davis and Wang 2009; Whyte 2010; Khan and Riskin 2001; Lee and Selden 2007).
Austerity, Polarity and the Prospect of Regime Change: China
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