[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
*By JOSEPH KAHN
and JIM YARDLEY*
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
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