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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Social issues in the People's Republic of China

Social issues in the People's Republic of China

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Social issues in the People's Republic of China in the 21st century are varied and wide-ranging, and are a combined result of the Chinese economic reforms set in place in the late 1970s, China's political and cultural history, and an immense population. Because of the vast number of social problems that exist in China today (not at all exclusive to the following list), China's government has faced considerable difficulty in trying to remedy the issues. Many of these issues are exposed by the Chinese media, while subjects that may contain politically sensitive issues may be censored. Some academics hold that China's fragile social balance, combined with a bubble economy makes China an extremely unstable country, while others argue China's societal trends have created a balance to sustain itself.
Contents

1 Socio-economic imbalances
2 Population
3 Social safety net
4 Government and law
5 Crime
6 Social unrest
7 Health care
8 Elitism and discrimination
9 Environment
10 Education
11 Morality
12 Loss of culture
13 See also
14 References


Socio-economic imbalances
Rural-urban disparity and the wealth gap
Coastal-hinterland imbalance
Digital divide

Population
Overpopulation
Male-female ratio disparity from sex-selective abortion and other problems associated from the One-child policy
Uncontrollable flow of mass migration

Social safety net
Lack of pension system; Social insurance virtually non-existent
Unemployment
Lack of benefits for the retired

Government and law
Lack of democratic practice and power invested in citizenry
Government's abuse of power (滥用职权)
Useless positions in civil service and redundant government agencies
Corruption (nepotism, cronyism, wasting public funds, bribery etc.)
Face projects (面子工程), including building useless roads, buildings, and huge government squares
government-commerce relationships (官商勾结)
Lack of the rule of law
Corruption of the legal system (司法制度腐败)
Fusion and unclear definition on the powers of the government and judiciary

Crime
Corporate irregularity
Re-emergence of organized crime
Gambling and prostitution
Growth of pornographic industry
Personal safety risks (especially in public places such as train stations)
Massive counterfeiting
Corporate scandals (includes corruption in professional sports)
Increased instances of fraud and scams (including people claiming supernatural powers, cure illnesses, change names for better luck, etc.)

Social unrest
Media censorship
Challenges to authority
Protests against local government/businesses and ensuing persecution

Health care
Corruption (lack of healthcare cover, hospital overcrowding and low wages prompt doctors to seek additional monetary incentive from patients)
Underdeveloped
Lack of modern equipment in majority of rural areas
Privatization and double standards
Uncontrolled spread of AIDS and STDs
Sanitation

Elitism and discrimination
Regional elitism (particularly in Beijing and Shanghai)
Discrimination against women (although since the Mao-era the status of women gained significant ground)
Emergence of new class system

Environment
Sacrificing environmental needs for economic gain (includes Three Gorges Dam project)
Urban industrial pollution
Uncontrolled and unsustainable rise in urban vehicle use

Education
Competitiveness in schools (includes bribery to get into best schools)
Overt emphasis on exams (especially Gaokao, the university entrance exams)
Parental and peer pressure on youth
Lack of creativity and self-critical thinking
Lack of physical education
Rural-urban inequality
Privatization
Lack of job opportunities after graduation
Lack of strong relationship between state-funded research and the private sector, e.g. poor commercialization and technology transfer of university research
Lack of critical scholarship and monitoring of research quality
Lack of multi-lingual abilities to compete in the globalized economy

Morality
Norm that social competitiveness should be considered above all else
Loss of traditional Confucianism morals and beliefs
Inflexible ideologies taught in public
Money worship


Loss of culture
New generation of Chinese embracing anything Western (pop music, western clothing, going to Starbucks, etc.), thus losing Chinese culture
Buddhism becoming commercialized
Suppression of religion

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