A posting about a Chinese peasant’s income has been spreading widely over the Internet. The author said that her mother-in-law, a migrant worker (a peasant who came to the city to work) in Chengdu City, Chongqing Province, where she has been since 2005, receives a pension of107 yuan (US$16) each month. However, only one single grocery shopping trip (she avoided the expensive items) had cost her 110 yuan. She was not the worst though. The author’s mother, a peasant in Henan Province, received only 240 yuan (US$35) pension – in the whole year.
With such a small amount of money, medical treatment is nothing but a remote concept. After a villager was diagnosed with cancer at a county’s hospital, he ended his life by drinking pesticides. He didn’t bother with a re-check at a provincial level hospital (which has better medical resources and whose diagnosis could be more reliable), because the travel expense (to the city) was too high.
In another report, the Yicai Media Group reported that the average pension for peasants in China is 188 yuan ($27) per month, which is only 5.26 percent of the pension for urban employee retirees (3,577 yuan per month). The communist regime in China has long treated peasants as second class citizens and provided them with inferior services as compared with the city dwellers.
Though China defined the male retirement age as 60 and female as 50 or 55 depending on their work type, 510 million, or one-third of the young elderly (people of Age 60-69) are still working. Based on the statistics of the young elderly, they accounted for 6.8 percent of the worker population in China in the “China’s Census – 2020” report. Among them, 62.44 percent are working in the agricultural fields.
1. Secret China, March 17, 2023
2. Sina, March 17, 2023