Source of image: MarketWatch
In the afternoon (Beijing time) of September 11th, an article (censored, reproduced here ) was circulating on WeChat. A few hours later it was predictably taken down. The article’s author cleverly used a series of pictures, instead of text, to display its content, possibly trying to avoid detection by the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) web police. Eventually the article’s URL returned a 404 or 502 error message, suggesting that the article had been censored. Fortunately, I was able to save a copy of the article before the website got compromised.
The author goes by the nickname ‘telling the truth’ (实话实说in mandarin). He/She is likely a Chinese citizen living in China as he/she seems very familiar with the issues that ordinary people living in China are facing as well as their kinds of dissatisfactions. I infer that the timing of writing was around late September 2015, by referring to the date of former US President Barack Obama’s speech that the author mentioned as ‘a few days ago’. I managed to look up and found the relevant document covering this speech from the White House’s released press records. Though the WeChat article might be five-years old, much of the issues it discussed still remains true five years later. In fact, some issues could be much worse today.
Using a set of data, the author criticised many so called ‘public servants’ in Communist China who care more about themselves rather than about the people they should serve (in name only). The data also reveals massive corruption within state-owned enterprises, and the extremely high living cost for ordinary Chinese people. The author did not specifically criticise the Chinese Communist Party possibly due to his/her safety concerns, however, he/she compared the Chinese government with the governments of other countries by emphasizing their different policies and administration costs. The data clearly shows that the Chinese government did not have any motivation to improve the lives of Chinese people.
While I am not able to verify the accuracy of these data, the article’s content resonates with my personal friends and family relatives who hve first-hand experience living inside China. Although the article might be five years old, the facts it disclosed do not change. What it discussed reflects the struggles, frustration and dissatisfaction that the Chinese people experienced five years ago, and is still the same today.
The article basically further confirmed what Mr Miles Guo said repeatedly that the CCP government is always “for the CCP” rather than “for the people”. The Chinese people are indeed the biggest and the most direct victim of the CCP.
Below is the English translation of the censored article .
The Ugly Truth inside Communist China – Disclosed by a Censored Article
The total population in China is 1.34 billion, out of which 178 million, or 13.26%, are people above the age of 60. Half of them (over 60 years old) have no children. So the biggest issue they are facing is the emptiness in their heart. In China there are:
- 300 million unemployed
- 200 million migrants
- 180 million single adults
- 58 million left-behind children (left behind by their parents who went to work in far-away big cities). They are struggling to survive
- 97% of the population without scientific literacy.
The whole country has entered the period of great anxiety since 2011. Housing and consumable prices have skyrocketed. Healthcare costs become unaffordable. There has been no sufficient retirement savings for most people who are in or about to enter their retirement age. The annual income of Chinese people ranked 159th globally. 71% of the population experience financial hardships. More than 65% of households are sustained financially by the older generations. 74% of those born between 1980-1989 struggle to look after their elderly parents. 94.5% of the population do not have confidence in food safety. 99.6% of the population think there are few genuine friendships. And 75.5% think that true and mutually respected relationships are rare.
68.5% of Chinese residents will see house prices to be unacceptably high, and the rent costs in big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen to be shockingly exorbitant. White-collar workers have to spend half of their hard-earned income on paying the rent. Beijing city has 3.8 million untenanted residential properties, but its suburban area has some 2.4 million share-tenanted properties (where multiple tenants shared the same house or unit) resided by some 7 million people.
40% of Chinese women have had extra marital affairs which typically peak around at the age of 36 to 40. According to official records, there are some 5,000 families which broke down due to extra marital affairs.
China’s per capita agricultural land area ranks the 35th among 52 countries with more than 20 million in population. Only UK, Japan and South Korea are among the countries with less agricultural land area on a per capita basis than China. The Netherlands, a major exporter of agricultural products, has a per capita agricultural land area of 0.057 hectare. Taiwan’s per capita agricultural land area is only 1/3 of China’s. All these show that the per capita ratios of agricultural land area and agricultural workers do not correlate with a country’s economy and development.
Section 1: Crime rate in China
According to the study of Professor Zhonglin Chen from Chongqing University’s Law School, who uses data from the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate from 1999 to 2003, the crime rates in China are:
- 1 in 400 among civilians
- 1 in 200 among state agency officials
- 1.5 in 100 among judiciary agency officials.
Based on my personal impression and memory of the period (1999 to 2003), I do not recall reading as much news about government officials getting arrested back then as that in today. This shows that the current crime rate among state and judiciary officials must be higher than 1 in 200 and 1.5 in 100, respectively.
Why is the crime rate among state agency officials 2-3 times higher than the civilians, and why is the crime rate by judiciary agency officials 6-7 times higher than the civilians? Is it the fault of their positions and power that allow them to commit a crime more easily?
Section 2: Ratio between average house price and average family income
According to the World Bank, the normal ratio between average house price and average family income is 5: 1. The ratio is 3:1 according to the United Nations. The actual house price to income ratio in various countries are: 3: 1 in the United States, 4:1 in Japan, 8.5:1 in Sydney, 7.9:1 in New York, 6.9:1 in London, 7.7:1 in Seoul, 7.9:1 in Tokyo and 5:1 in Singapore. Note that they are all developed nations or cities.
Official statistics show that the house price to income ratio in China is 20-30: 1, with the big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou seeing a ratio as high as 40:1. Even the official statistics do not reflect the reality, as the sampling data is based on high-income groups.
In reality, many ordinary citizens could not afford a decent house that is close to their workplace even with a theoretical 200-300, or 300-400 years of labour under their current salary.
Section 3: Income inequality in China
The total number of persons working in state-owned enterprises, which undertake commercial activities in energy, telecommunication, oil and gas, finance, insurance, utilities and tobacco, comprises of merely 8% of the total labour force, yet the salary and allowances paid to these workers are more than half (55%) of the total income paid to all workers.
Why the huge disparity? Because industries like energy, telecommunication, oil and gas, finance, insurance, utilities and tobacco are a state monopoly, the salary standards of these industries are much higher than those in private enterprises.
Source of image: Reuters
Section 4: Population in poverty
The Chinese government often lauds poverty reduction and eradication as one of their policy achievements, claiming that only 43 million people in China are living in poverty. However, when negotiating China’s share of funds payable to the United Nation, the Chinese government claims that over 250 million people of its population spend less than USD 1.25 per day, implying that China has the second largest population living in poverty in the world.
The statistics within China have always been inconsistent because each government agency has their own standards and purpose to calculate poverty numbers, hence it is reasonable to see there are slight differences in the number being reported by different agencies. However, the discrepancy we are talking about here is between 43 million and 250 million, and this difference is akin to ‘thousands of miles’ (a Chinese saying, which means a vast difference). How can this discrepancy be justifiable? The government tells us that only 4.3 million people live in poverty, but the figure they report to the United Nations is 250 million. Presumably they cannot deviate too much from the truth then.
What I really don’t understand is, why are foreigners living above the poverty line more in need of help than our own 250 million citizens who live below the poverty line?
[Translator’s comment: The author is likely referring to China’s throwing ‘developmental funds’ at countries in Africa and Asia as part of its expansion of regional influence, the money which could benefit its own citizens.]
Section 5: Average income
Back in 1955, the per capita income in China was 3.2 times that of South Korea and 1.1 times that of Japan. In 2008, however, after more than 50 years of “game changing” growth, China’s per capita income is 3% that of Japan and 7% that of South Korea.
In his recent interview, the President of the United States Obama (at the time the original article was written) said that “the Chinese people’s per capita income has remained the level that is equivalent to that of the United States in 1910.”
This means that after the “game changing growth” from 1955 to 2008, the average income of Japan exceeded that of China by a factor of 34.5, the average income of South Korea exceeded that of China by a factor of 17.5, and that the Chinese people’s average living standards is behind the United State by more than 100 years. Since the economic growth from the Chinese people’s labour has not resulted in their own betterment, where has the money and wealth gone to?
Section 6: Ratio between government officials and civilians
The ratios between the number of government officials and the number of civilians, under different era of government, are shown below:
|Era of government||Government officials: civilians|
|Western (earlier) Han (206 B.C.–9 A.D.)||7945:1|
|Eastern (later) Han (25–220) A.D.||7464:1|
|Tang Dynasty (618–906)||2927:1|
|Yuan Dynasty (1279–1368)||2613:1|
|Ming Dynasty (1368–1644)||2299:1|
|Qing Dynasty (r. 1644–1911)||911:1|
Note: Prior to the Qing Dynastic, only provincial and central government officials were controlled by the government.
In 1998, the assistant of the Finance Minister of China, Liu Chang Kun said: “On average, back in the Han Dynasty, each government official (in terms of salary) was supported by 8000 civilians. In Tang Dynasty, each government official was supported by 1000 civilians. Now each of our government official was supported by 40 civilians. The number of government employees keep increasing. In fact, according to the latest online statistics, the current number is that each government official is supported by 18 civilians.
The cost to support the so-called “boss” is getting higher and higher, while the number of supposed “government servants” is getting larger and larger.
Section 7: Percentage of total GDP spent on government administration
The cost of government administration is 25.6% of China’s total GDP. In comparison, this figure is 6.3% for India, 3.4% for the United States, and 2.8% for Japan.
In terms of GDP, China’s cost of running its government is 4.1 times that of India, 7.5 times that of the United States, and 9.1 times that of Japan.
Section 8: Spending on healthcare and education as a percentage of total GDP
China’s spending on healthcare and education takes up only 3.8% of total GDP. In comparison, this figure is 19.7% for India, 21.5% for the United States, 23.3% for Japan.
This means that in percentage of total GDP, India spent 5.2 times more, the United States spent 5.7 times more, and Japan spent 6.1 times more than China in healthcare and education.
Why do India, the United States and Japan put strong focus on healthcare and education to nurture and educate their citizens, so that they have better healthcare, less literacy, and deeper understanding of civics? China only spends a pathetic 3.8%, out of which 80% are spent on 2-3% of high government officials’ meals and enjoyment.
Section 9: Growth in government size compared to growth in people’s income
The income of China’s so called “government servants” has grown 985 times, whereas the income of Chinese people has only grown 19 times.
Why is the government servants’ income growing 52 times quicker than the people’s income? Because the number of government officials is growing.
Source of image: nfpeople.com/
Section 10: Number of “naked officials”
(Definition: “Naked officials” refer to government officials who send their spouses, kids and money overseas while he or she stayed back in China to work in government departments, which means he or she can easily escape to foreign countries at any time when there is a need.)
Do you know how many “naked officials” there are in China? The number is 1.18 million. What does this mean? This means there is an average of 30,000 “naked officials” in every province, or over 50 “naked officials” in every city or county (calculation based on 2000 cities and counties nationwide).
Our government has 1.18 million officials who are ready to escape at any time. How scary is this type of government! What kind of government is this? In recent 30 years, it is estimated that about 4,000 “naked officials” have left China taking with them approximately 400 billion yuan of wealth, which means an average of 100 billion yuan for each escaped official.
Do you think these “naked officials” really want to serve the Chinese people as they are supposed to? They became public servants only to get more benefits, obtain greater wealth and be ready to escape from China at any time to avoid punishments. Not sure if the leaders of the Central Government are aware of the hidden threat and danger from this “naked officials” situation.
Section 11: Comparison of government spending between China and the US with data in 2004
Based on the spending data in 2004, the comparison between China and the US on different areas of spending are shown below:
|Spending as proportion of total spending|
|Public service and societal management||25%||75%|
- Government administration spending in China is 3 times higher than the US, which shows that the Chinese government has serious issues due to its size and excessive wastage.
- China outspent the US by more than 2 times on infrastructure. This verifies that China is a developing nation instead of a developed one. In fact, it is quite normal for China to spend even more on infrastructure.
- China’s spending on public services on societal management is only 1/3 that of the US, which shows that China does not place strong importance on public services and societal management. China prioritises government officials over ordinary citizens. It also has very poor awareness of the need to protect its societal fabric and natural environment.
- China’s spending on “Other” areas is 3.5 higher than the US. We will never know what constitutes the “other” areas, why China needs to spend so much, and weather these spending was justified to be charged on the taxpayers.
The (Chinese) government does not need to obtain approvals from its National People’s Congress when deciding its spending, nor does the government need to report its spending to its people. In other words, the government can spend the people’s money as it wishes.
Section 12: Premature deaths
There are more than 3.2 million cases of premature deaths in China. The number is as big as the whole population of some smaller countries!
The official statistics below show the average number per year:
- 287,000 suicides
- 200,000 drug overdose related deaths
- Approximately 200,000 deaths from medical incidents
- Approximately 5,000 from dusk and lung diseases
- 130,000 from tuberculosis
- In 2005, there were 3,508,114 persons with Hepatitis A and B, and there were 13,185 deaths due to Hepatitis disease
- 100,000 deaths from road accidents
- 111,000 deaths from home renovation related pollutants
- 130,000 deaths from workplace accidents
- 8,000 deaths from electric shock accidents
- 2,300 deaths from fire, causing a total of 20 billion dollars in financial losses
- 16,000 premature deaths among students in high and primary schools, 3,000 deaths among university students
- 70,000 deaths as a direct result of criminal activities
- 1,200 unclaimed dead human bodies in Guangdong province
- Tens of thousands of deaths from inappropriate use of pesticides
- Tens of thousands of deaths from food poisoning
- In 1985 there were 9,830 deaths from alcohol poisoning
- 60,000 workers died from excessive working and extreme exhaustion
- 38,500 deaths from air pollution
The above accounts for 2.3 million deaths so far. If just looking at the numbers, we can find that many of the premature deaths in China involved young people, including university students, middle aged workers, farmers, and elites. The cause of deaths are mostly medical incidents, road accidents, workplace accidents, overworking, pollution, food poisoning, extreme exhaustion, mental breakdowns…etc.
We could just imagine this: if our government could reduce its administrative spending and use those savings to enhance public services and societal management, to address the employment gap and to provide more social security, it would not go a long way in reducing these premature deaths.
- Unsafe injection practices caused the spread of Hepatitis and AIDS diseases, both diseases caused 390,000 early deaths and a loss of 6.89 million life-years, according to Xinhua Net. The cause of Hepatitis diseases are often due to malnutrition, poor hygiene practices and diet. AIDS is spreading mainly due to poor hygienic practice in blood collection stations where collectors did not sanitise needles that were reused on multiple patients.
The solutions to the causes of these problems are to increase quality of healthcare and food hygiene practices and enhance promotion of good habits of our citizens. This should be the long-term and undeniable responsibility of our government.
As for the irresponsible persons [such as healthcare practitioners who do not maintain acceptable hygienic practice] who do not value lives, directly cause damage to the health and lives of others, and are devils to the Chinese people, they should be punished to the greatest extent permitted under the law.
- Nearly one million deaths involved young children who are below the age of 5. Why it is such a large number? Three main reasons are: (i) birth defects or pre-existing health conditions, (ii) malnutrition and lack of care, (iii) gender discrimination, abandonment by carers, and kidnapping, etc. [The author does not explicitly say so, but he/she implied that the problem is caused by a general preference for boys among parents under the one-child-policy, and rampant child trafficking in China.]
The long term solution to these problems should be policies that increase the standard of living of ordinary citizens, promote gender equality, and address the issues arising from retirement funding to support an ageing population.
Based on these numbers the total of premature deaths each year is over 3.28 million. Some of these numbers are underreported or double-counted, but there is no doubt that the total number of deaths each year is above 3 million, out of which 80% are related to liability incidents [those deaths are completely avoidable if our government takes greater responsibility in its actions]!
Source of image: Financial Times
Section 13: People who cause risk to national security
According to official records, in 2006 the Chinese government arrested 604 persons who allegedly committed crimes that caused risk to national security, a two-fold increase from the number in 2005. Similarly, this number increased to 742 persons in 2007, representing an increase of 23% relative to the previous two years.
Who exactly are those people who were arrested for ‘causing risk to national security’?
In the past few years, some ordinary citizens have tried to rise up to urban management officers who tore down street retail stores and residential homes violently and barbarically. These citizens are simply trying to voice their opposition to the actions of these urban management officers that caused loss of lives and properties of ordinary people.
Instead of prosecuting these urban management officers, the government arrested the ordinary citizens who tried to defend their lives and properties, calling them a “risk to national security”. These arrests clearly go against justice and are wrong to solve problems. It is a red flag that will likely cause dissatisfaction among ordinary citizens and conflict between the people and public officials.
Section 14: Government expense
Comparison of government expense as a proportion of treasury (tax) revenue for different countries:
|Country||Government expense as proportion of treasure (tax) revenue (%)|
China’s 30 percent only accounts for expenses directly incurred by government officials. The real figure is even higher!
The Chinese government spends a third of the taxpayers’ money on funding the government and paying public officials. It is the reason why the Chinese people are so poor, why the social security system is so terrible, and why the environmental conditions in China cannot be improved.
Section 15: Taxation in China
The government’s tax revenue in 2008 exceeded 6.0 trillion yuan, which is equivalent to 4615 yuan per person (including children and the elderly). If average number of people per household is 4, the total tax a household to pay is 18,461 yuan. In 2009, total tax revenue increased to 6.57 trillion yuan. By 2011, total tax revenue increased to 10.37 trillion yuan, which is equivalent to 7,980 yuan per person (including children and the elderly), or 31,920 for a household (again, assuming an average 4-person household).
China definitely has one of the heaviest tax burdens (to its people) in the world! History has repeatedly shown that a high tax burden is never a good national strategy. Having said this, the increase in tax revenue in the past years could be due to stricter tax monitoring and auditing, which reduced tax evasion practices. Reducing tax evasion through tax monitoring and auditing should be continued, so that there is a higher chance for future tax cuts that will benefit ordinary citizens.
Section 16: High inflation
The price for “octane fuel #97” in China is 1.3 times higher than in the US. The price of cinema tickets in China is 2 times higher than in the US. The price of Armani suits in China is 3 times higher than in the US. BMW Z4 sells at a whopping price tag of USD $90,000 in China, while in the US it only sells at USD $30,000. The price of Levi jeans in China is 7 times higher than in the US.
What about the house price? The house price in China has exceeded the house price in the US by many, many times.
If we take year 2010 as an example, an average American earned USD $36,300 while an average Chinese earned USD $4,700. That means an average American earned 7.72 times more than an average Chinese could earn.
So, the Chinese people made 7.72 times less money than the American people, but they had to spend equal or even more on the same products. This is a very strange scenario indeed!
Apart from the price comparisons mentioned above, the cost for basic living needs such as medicines, school fees, vegetables, eggs, fruit, utilities, etc. is also higher than that in the US. The big disparity between income and cost of living in China harbors dissatisfactions among many ordinary citizens and this is damaging the path to openness in China.
As price of goods and services is the “adjustment lever” of the economy, the exorbitant price tag used to generate giant profits is the hallmark of an anarchist society.The crazy prices are evidence of guilt for some people who satisfy their immoral desire for profit. These people are guilty of undermining China’s “reform and opening” efforts. The government must stop these immoral businesses, sanction those who breach government policies on product pricing, so that the market economy can operate smoothly.
Section 17: Slow increase in labour wage
From 1997 and 2008, labour wage in China increased by about 11.6%, while the state-owned enterprises’ profit increased by more than 32%, and the land leasing revenue increased by over 33.6%.
So, the increase in government’s wealth is 3 times more than the increase in the people’s wealth.
What does this mean? It means that government officials are competing with the people! Government officials are superior to the people and the people are subordinate to government officials. The government always puts the interest of its officials above the people’s interest. The extent that the government’s own interest is 3 times above the interest of the people.
Hence, it is not hard to comprehend why we have such a big inflated government structure, with such a large team of government officials or so-called “public servants”. Our government officials can be in their positions for lifetime. They will only be promoted but never get demoted. They and their family members have a special status during their whole life: from kindergarten to adulthood. Their special status is for sure regardless of what they do, such as working, seeing a doctor, retiring, resigning from work, even when getting arrested or passing away.
At every stage of life, government officials and their family members receive treatments that are many times better than those for the ordinary citizens.
Source of image: New York Times
Section 18: Consequences of environmental pollutions
Pollutions in air, water, food and medicines have resulted in the emergence of “cancer villages”, rapid increases cancer rate and birth defects.
Every year we see many cases such as birth-defected babies, about 200,000 to 300,000 cases nationally. This number does not include the babies who were not detected at the birth until a few months or even years later. The number for total cases of birth defects is between 800,000 and 1.2 million, which is about 4%-6% of total births each year.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that there are over 650,000 deaths caused by air pollution each year in China. The World Bank estimated that there are over 750,000 deaths caused by all types of pollution each year in China!
The source of pollutants in the air, water, food and medicine trace back to the government’s fault. After China adopted “reform and opening” policies, many local government officials blindly carried out actions in order just to impress their upper echelon for being promoted to a higher rank. The actions were unscientific and caused great harm to the ordinary people’s lives, wealth and properties. Government officials blindly brought in projects that were either out-of-date and garbage-related projects, pollution-related projects or projects that were empty in substance. These so-called projects led to serious air and water pollutions. These are the people who were only motivated by profits, had no ethics and took great risk [in production] that severely compromised the safety of our food and medicine.
The government ignored all these phenomena from the beginning, possibly thinking of them as “one finger out of the nine” [a Chinese saying, it means rare or in the minority] shortcomings and mistakes, therefore did not intervene or stop those people. One day when everything gets very bad, for example when the pollution becomes extreme and irreversible, the consequences will lead to disasters for the people and the environment. Then, it will be extremely costly and time consuming for the government to think of stopping these pollutions.
Source of image: inventariandochina.wordpress.com
Section 19: State-owned enterprises
According to a report by the Unirule Institute of Economics, from 2001 to 2008, China’s state-owned enterprises, compared with private enterprises, paid lower interest (by 2.85 trillion yuan), lower rent for land (by 3.09 trillion yuan) and lower cost for using resources (by 500 billion yuan), yet the losses they reported make them receive a total of 119.8 billion yuan from the government as subsidies.
When you do the math, you will see that state-owned enterprises not only saved 6.48 trillion in cost from government, but also received government’s massive subsidies (119.8 billion). It should result in a much bigger profit for the state-owned enterprises than what was reported in their accounts of 4.92 trillion yuan. The chairman of the Unirule Institute of Economics, Mr Sheng Hong, offered the following remark: “Our state-owned enterprises are controlled by insiders.”
So this is saying that, during seven years from 2001 to 2008, the state-owned enterprises did not generate a penny of profit and paid less cost than private enterprises (2.85 trillion yuan less in interest, 3.09 trillion yuan less in rent of land, 500 billion yuan less in cost of resources), yet they reported losses in revenue and received 119.8 yuan in government subsidies. Basic mathematics suggests that 1.56 trillion yuan had disappeared (corrupted by somebody)!
Where has the 1.56 trillion yuan gone? These state-owned enterprises are mostly monopolies in natural resources and financial institutions. They are not affected by market competition and hence they should return a profit at a minimum in the range of trillions of yuan. Where have those profits gone? Mr Sheng Hong is right for saying that our state-owned enterprises are controlled by insiders. These insiders are rogue and foolish crocodiles who attack and damage the integrity of our economy.
Why should the government not hold these people accountable and chase back all the wealth that they stole?!
Section 20: Children who are kidnapped
Using a conservative estimate, there are 200,000 children in China who were kidnapped or disappeared each year, out of which only about 0.1% were eventually found. China’s Central Disease Control (CDC) classified the death cases as due to “accidental injury”. In their investigation, they announced that “accidental injury” was the primary cause of death among children aged between 0 to 14 in China. In addition, each year there were about 640,000 children who got injured in accidents, some of whom become disabled as a result.
China ranks first in the world by the number of children who disappeared, by the number of children who dropped out from schools, by the number of suicides due to extreme poverty, and by the number of crimes which resulted in family breakups and tragedies.
Translation & Commentary by: XO酱
Proofread by: Wen Wang (文旺)