China still has a wealth gap problem: Economist

Despite increase in average household income, massive wealth gap still exists

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Millions of Chinese farmers only get by with limited wages

Millions of Chinese farmers only get by with limited wages (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Chinese state-run media outlet Economic Daily on Monday (June 1) published an interview with economist Li Shi (李實) in which he addressed Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's (李克強) statement that nearly half the Chinese population lives on RMB$1,000 (US$140) a month.

During a press conference after the closing session of the National People's Congress on May 28, Premier Li stated that while China's average per capita income is RMB$30,000 per year, some 600 million low-to-middle-income Chinese earn only RMB$1,000 per month.

Li Shi explained that the RMB$1,000 figure is the household income, which is the combined gross income of all members of a household. Household income also includes family members who are jobless, such as children and retirees.

According to Li, the average salary in China in 2019 was RMB$ 7,541. The reason the premier stated that 600 million people are living on only RMB$1,000 a month, is that that figure includes many children and retirees, Li said. Despite that, Li said these figures showed the wage gap in China was still a big problem.