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CHINA-ECONOMY/RURAL
RTR2LYYM
May 04, 2011
A farmer and his wife plant their crops in a field located on the outskirts of the town of Zhucheng in...
ZHUCHENG, China
To match analysis CHINA-ECONOMY/RURAL
A farmer and his wife plant their crops in a field located on the outskirts of the town of Zhucheng in Shandong province April 20, 2011. The fertile fields of Shandong Province in eastern China are an unlikely microcosm of the national economy. There is not a power plant or factory in sight, yet the area encapsulates as well as any industrial city some of the forces that are reshaping the country. People grumble about rising prices, adding weight to the authorities' concern that inflation could spark unrest. The virtual absence of any farmers under 40 speaks to China's urbanization, with youngsters decamping as soon as they can to work in towns near and far, leaving their aging parents to till the soil. With the rural labor pool shrinking, wages are rising. China's vast rural economy, home to over 700 million people, seems to be doing well. But urban China is doing much better, and the resulting inequality is a nagging concern for the ruling Communist Party. Picture taken April 20, 2011.To match analysis CHINA-ECONOMY/RURAL REUTERS/David Gray (CHINA - Tags: AGRICULTURE POLITICS BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT)
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