Something is going wrong with China’s plan to build millions of new low-income homes. It’s called the internet, and it’s making it easy for the general public to recognise that the program is half-baked.
Last week Hu Jintao met with a low-income tenant during a CCTV special. Soon bloggers discovered that the tenant, Guo Chunping, is a middle class woman who obviously earns more than the $88/month low-income threshold, according to Shanghaiist.
Moreover, she lives somewhere else and rents out her subsidized apartment on the red hot private market.
Here’s the awkward conversation that Chinese censors are trying to bury (translated by Shanghaiist):
Hu: When did you move in?
Guo: I’ve moved in over half a month now.
Hu: Oh, half a month, I see. How big is this apartment?
Guo: It’s 45 square metres in all.
Hu: 45, huh. Two rooms?
Guo: Yes, two rooms.
Hu: How much rent are you paying for this apartment?
Guo: I pay RMB77 each month.
Hu: RMB77 each month — are you able to cope with the rent?
Guo: Yes. Secretary-General, I just wanted to say a big thank you to the party and the government. We are so touched to have been given this fabulous apartment to live in!
Hu: The party and the government are very concerned with the people’s daily livelihoods. We’ve taken up a series of measures to further improve your daily lives. Well, we’re so happy to see that your lives have been improved here!
Guo: Thank you! Thank you! Our country is really improving day by day. We never dreamed we would be living in such an apartment some day.
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