Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/985/26988
The Socialist 7 March 2018 |
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Them & Us
Them and us fishes, image by Suzanne Beishon (Click to enlarge)
Xi Jinping's policies added four new billionaires every week last year. The wealth of China's billionaire 'lawmakers' has more than doubled since 2013.
China's 13th 'National People's Congress' (NPC - the regime's pseudo-parliament) opened its plenary session on 5 March in Beijing. Thus began two weeks of furious rubber-stamping - the dictatorship has already decided which policies will be adopted.
Among the 5,130 appointed 'delegates' attending the NPC and its sister body, the 'Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference' (PCC), there will be 104 dollar-billionaires: 45 in the NPC and 59 in the PCC.
Their total net worth amounts to four trillion yuan ($624 billion), more than double Ireland's GDP. This is the richest 'parliament' in the world by a very big margin.
China's 'National People's Congress' contains 45 billionaires (Click to enlarge)
... China's workers
Meanwhile, average residential property prices have risen 23% in the past year in China's ten largest cities. This is a faster rate of increase than any single year in the US housing market.
Millions of city people are taking on extreme levels of debt in order to buy a home. At the same time, millions of migrant workers are being evicted from the major cities in a social cleansing campaign against what the Chinese 'Communist' Party calls the "low-end population."
Tens of millions of workers, especially in the service sector where most new jobs are created, are driven into precarious informal work as 'agency workers' or 'individual contractors'. Their rates of pay and working conditions are worse than in the factory sweatshops, many of which have moved to cheaper countries.
The number of workers' strikes each year has risen sevenfold during the first five-year term of Xi Jinping's presidency.