[Marxism] The Glorious Capitalist Road of the 'New China'

M. Junaid Alam junaidalam at msalam.net
Sat Jul 31 17:27:42 MDT 2004

    Amid China's Boom, No Helping Hand for Young Qingming


Published: August 1, 2004

PUJIA, China — His dying debt was $80. Had he been among China's urban 
elite, Zheng Qingming would have spent more on a trendy cellphone. But 
he was one of the hundreds of millions of peasants far removed from the 
country's new wealth. His public high school tuition alone consumed most 
of his family's income for a year.

He wanted to attend college. But to do so meant taking the annual 
college entrance examination. On the humid morning of June 4, three days 
before the exam, Qingming's teacher repeated a common refrain: he had to 
pay his last $80 in fees or he would not be allowed to take the test. 
Qingming stood before his classmates, his shame overtaken by anger.

"I do not have the money," he said slowly, according to several teachers 
who described the events that morning. But his teacher — and the system 
— would not budge.

A few hours later, Qingming, 18 years old, stepped in front of an 
approaching locomotive. The train, like China's roaring economy, was an 

If his gruesome death was shocking, the life of this peasant boy in the 
rolling hills of northern Sichuan Province is repeated a millionfold 
across the Chinese countryside. Peasants like Qingming were once the 
core constituency of the Communist Party. Now, they are being left 
behind in the money-centered, cutthroat society that has replaced 
socialist China.


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