At 122 billionaires, China has the second-largest concentration of billionairesin the world, according to Forbes. Yet 13% of China’s population lives on less than $US1.25 a day.
China has a high Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality. In fact, during his outgoing speech at the 2012 National People’s Congress, then president Hu Jintao said China should try and double its 2010 per capita income for urban and rural residents by 2020.
The Communist Party is weary of the growing wealth gap because of the risk it poses in the form of social unrest. To show just how disparate the lifestyle of wealthy Chinese is from China’s poor, we drew on 22 images from Reuters photographer Kim Kyung-Hoon.
(L) Residents of an area for migrant workers watch a travelling circus troupe holding a show in Beijing and (R) celebrities and other guests attend a reception prior to a fashion show held at the Ming Dynasty City Wall Relics Park in Beijing.
(L) Residents gambling under streetlights in an alley of a residential area for migrant workers and (R) guests drinking Champagne as they wait for the start of a fashion show in Beijing.
'A combination photograph shows (L) a man carrying family members as passengers on his electric tricycle cart in Beijing and (R) visitors look around Rolls-Royce's vintage car during the Rolls-Royce's Concours d'Elegance event for celebrating its 10 years business in China.'
(L) A female farmer's bare foot covered in mud about 50 miles from Beijing and (R) women wearing high heels during a photo session in Beijing.
(L) Families having a dinner in a residential area for migrant workers in Beijing July 16, 2013 and (R) men drinking coffee at a five star hotel in Beijing.
'(L) A family walks past a street vendor selling women's clothes in a market for migrant workers in Beijing and (R) a woman paying her bill at a foreign luxury brand's boutique in Beijing.'
A migrant worker eats dinner as he watches his neighbours gambling in an alley and (R) a bartender holds Champagne glasses at a reception prior to the fashion show.
(L) Mannequins at a shop selling wool jackets at a market for migrant workers in Beijing and (R) a clerk putting a shoe on the foot of a mannequin at a luxury shopping mall in Beijing.
'(L) Sex toys at a sex shop in a residential area for migrant workers in Beijing July 17, 2013 and (R) Sex shops with neon signs at a wealthy district in Beijing.'
'(L) A dog rummaging for food in a garbage can at a residential area for migrant workers in Beijing and (R) A woman wearing a fur coat holding her pet dog at a book store inside an airport in Beijing.'
'(L) A public toilet in a half-demolished old town where new skyscrapers will be built in Beijing February 21, 2013 and (R) A boy using a toilet inside a department store at a shopping district in Beijing.'
(L) A store district in a residential area for migrant workers in Beijing and (R) luxury brands shops at a shopping complex in Beijing.
(L) A female farmer takes a nap in a field about 80 km from Beijing and (R ) staff demonstrate their full-body massage treatment at a spa.
(L) Men eat their lunch on a street for about $US1.60 and (R) people having dinner worth about $US60 - $US80 at a restaurant in Beijing.
(L) A man walks in a alley at a half-demolished, old residential site and (R) a woman walks with her pet dog at a wealthy residential and commercial complex.
(L) A man makes noodles with dough at his makeshift restaurant in a half-destroyed, old residential area and (R) chefs cook a meal at a restaurant in a wealthy district in Beijing.
(L) A boy stands in his house in a residential area for migrant workers and (R) a child plays in a ball pit at an indoor playground for children in a wealthy district in Beijing.
(L) A vendor sells wooden baskets and brooms at a half-demolished, old residential area where new skyscrapers will be built and (R) a man stands in a supermarket near a newly-built residential complex also in Beijing.
(L) A man sits in a wheelchair in front of his house in a residential area for migrant workers in Beijing and (R) a resident of the Beijing First Social Welfare Institution affiliated nursing home poses in her bedroom in the nursing home.
(L) A garbage collector rummages through trash cans in order to find recyclable garbage in a residential area for migrant workers and (R) a worker cleans trash cans at a shopping mall.
(L) A street vendor sells stems of garlic and (R) a clerk arranges vegetables in a fridge at a supermarket in a wealthy district of Beijing.
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