Women from the rural countryside learn skills to work as maids for the newly wealthy class. They are trained to cook and iron at the Fuping Vocational Skills Training School. Li reacts to flying grease in one of the cooking classes.
Since opening up its economy in 1978 and moving toward a market economy, China has lifted about 400 million people out of poverty, according to the World Bank. But this has led to wide income inequalities that the Communist Party is trying to address through its notion of a “harmonious society” that has a more even distribution of the benefits of recent decades of speedy economic growth.
Migrant workers in China are mostly people from impoverished regions who go to more urban and prosperous coastal regions in search of work. In some cities, the migrants nearly outnumber the residents. One young girl told National Geographic, “All the young people leave our village. I’m not going back. Many can’t even afford a bus ticket and hitchhike to Beijing.” Overall, the Chinese government has tacitly supported migration as means of transforming China from a rural-based economy to an urban-based one.
- RANDY OLSON
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appliances, asia, beijing, bending over, china, chinese ethnicity, chinese people, color image, concentration, day, domestic, domestic laborers, economic issues, indoors, irons, laborers, large group of people, learning, looking down, maids, national peoples, occupation, people's republic of china, peoples, photography, pouring, service, skills, social issues, training, vocation, water, women, young adult
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- China's Bling Dynasty_National Geographic Magazine 5/2008