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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Downtown beggars can be choosers


China Daily

"A survey conducted recently in Ningbo, a coastal city in East China's Zhejiang Province, indicates that beggars are testing the limits of kind-hearted people's forbearance. "

Well it looks as though the poor people are getting up the nose (or should that be on the nose) of the nouveau riche in China.

This report provides harrowing reports of beggars actually accosting people as they walk the streets in China.

"They seem to have no shame," Tang says. "I do not know if he or she will jump on me the same way." one person was reported to have cried.

I do not know really if beggars by nature have much shame, hunger maybe but no... Not shame.

And here is a cushy job,! How do you get this one:

"Ying Jianrong, director of the district's Beggar Restriction Office, believes that "99.9 per cent'' of the beggars in downtown Ningbo are not "real beggars.''

They needed an office and a director to determine that?

And how is this for a longwinded name for a law:

"Observers believe the recent increase of beggars in many Chinese cities has to do with the country's repeal of the 21-year-old Measures for Internment and Deportation of Urban Vagrants and Beggars last year.

I do not want to know what the "measures" were but it does not sound nice!

Then we probably have a voice of reason given what we know of poverty in China:

'Shen believes the only proper way to solve the problem is to reduce poverty through economic development, while better aiding poverty-stricken people through a more comprehensive social welfare system because the number of vagrants and beggars is likely to grow in the process of urbanization.

Then just to round it off we have this fine caring socialist type quote:

The existence of so many beggars has tarnished the image of the city, and their coercive begging has made them disgusting,'' says one gent with his nose out of joint.

And I thought it was going to be a boring news day.

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