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Communist China contemplates wage gap

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: This weekend nearly 500 members of China's Communist Party will meet in Beijing. Over the next four days political and economic issues will be discussed that would be familiar to many Americans. For example, how to maintain social harmony in a society that has big gap in wealth? Jocelyn Ford has more.


JOCELYN FORD: In China, the rich are getting richer, the poor can't catch up. That doesn't make for social harmony.

Professor Joseph Cheng is a political scientist at the City University of Hong Kong.

JOSEPH CHENG:"The Chinese leaders understand they have to put less emphasis sheer economic growth, and more emphasis on a reasonable social security net."

Like free education and more affordable health care.

The Communist Party leaders will also take aim at a familiar target to Americans: special interest groups.

Professor Cheng says government protected industries like electricity and oil have made easy profits. The public doesn't think it's fair that people in these sectors don't have to work hard for their money.

In Beijing, I'm Jocelyn Ford for Marketplace.

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