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In rapidly aging China, millions can't afford to retire

8 Comments
By Tingshu Wang, Laurie Chen, Kevin Yao and Farah Master

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"No one can look after us," said Hu, still mopping the floor. "I don't want to be a burden on my two children and our country isn't giving us a penny."

China has come a long way from Mao's 'Iron Rice Bowl' and while many have benefited, many have not.

This all seems to be reflected in the many working seniors in Japan who are facing similar issues.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Hope the J-35 is wheelchair accessible.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

This is what China choose for their citizens and everyone was just quiet and excepted. China great nation is a mirage.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Perhaps this time China will collapse due to its population woes.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

This is what China choose for their citizens

The U.S. chooses no homes for its citizens is what you’re saying. Poverty alleviation in China for hundreds of millions is meaningless if a few villagers’ future is uncertain.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

This is what China choose for their citizens

The U.S. chooses no homes for its citizens is what you’re saying. Poverty alleviation in China for hundreds of millions is meaningless if a few villagers’ future is uncertain.

You missed the point entirely. Neither the US nor China chose the homes people live in. However in China you have to have official permission from their government to live someplace. You cannot just move to another city without permission. You are issued a Hukou that is your residency permit. Your social benefits, meaning medical insurance and any pension, are based on the city or town your Hukou says you are allowed to live.

Millions of Chinese workers left their towns to work in big cities but their government never gave them permission to move. They don't have a Hukou allowing to live in the places they work. Any children they have are barred from schools there. They have to send their children, if any, back to the town their Hukou says them came from to live with grandparents and attend school there. When they get old and can no longer work construction or in a factory, their small town Hukou does not entitle them to health insurance or a pension adequate for the relatively high costs of China's big cities. Yet if they go back to their village the paltry amount of a retirement they qualify for as a rural resident is insufficient to live on.

You do not see this in the US. Your eventual Social Security payment is not dependent on where you live. It is based on how many "quarters", meaning three month periods, you worked and how much you earned, along with what age you choose to start collecting your Social Security payments. The older you are when you start, the larger the monthly payment. Doesn't matter where you live. And Social Security in the US pays a lot more, even relative to the cost of living, than the Chinese pension does. Plus I cannot tell you how much money my wife and I spent to send medicines and help with health care costs for Momma in Shanghai. Even in a good hospital family had to change her sheets, bring food and provide medicines her doctor said she needed but for which their crummy health insurance would not pay for. And this was Shanghai, China's wealthiest city!

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quercetumMay 12 05:47 pm JST

This is what China choose for their citizens

The U.S. chooses no homes for its citizens is what you’re saying.

There is plenty of land for new homes. Just need densification and transit to make it work.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

U.S. and European officials say this policy is unfair to Western firms competing with Chinese producers.

Someone needs to remind these geniuses that they have chosen to do business in a communist dictatorship. The centrally planned economy and other fundamental things are run starkly different there, and the Chinese policymakers' ultimate goal is to bury you and your capitalist system.

"The East is red!"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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