China Has a Massive Class Problem, and It’s Not Getting Any Better

By He Qinglian on May 23, 2015
Source article in Chinese: 从中国阶层结构看社会转型的失败

At the turn of the 20th century, China was still an empire, with a small elite at the top controlling the overwhelming majority of wealth and power, and a vast number of peasants on the edge of subsistence. Recently, the Chinese scholar Zi Zhongyun observed: “It’s been 100 years and there’s no improvement—at the top it’s still Cixi, and at the bottom the Boxers.” He was referring to Empress Dowager Cixi, who ruled the Qing Dynasty; the Boxers refer to the millions of disenfranchised Chinese who at one point attempted revolution.