Communist China Turns 70. Who Shares Its Economic Growth?

Hundreds of millions have climbed out of poverty, but an equality gap has widened. Seventy years after Mao's revolution, many Chinese people reflect on their own stories of struggle and mobility.
Chinese honor guards stand in formation during the lowering of the national flag in front of Tiananmen Gate in Beijing on Monday, one day before the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Source: Noel Celis

Seventy years ago, Mao Zedong appeared on a balcony overlooking Tiananmen Square and conjured a new country into being. On Tuesday, Xi Jinping, arguably the strongest leader since Mao, appeared on that same balcony to reaffirm his vision of modern China.

That vision includes what Xi has repeatedly referred to as the "Chinese Dream," one pillar of which is the idea that all Chinese should have access to the shared prosperity of the nation.

Hundreds of millions of citizens have climbed out of poverty in the past few decades, but a chasm of inequality has opened up in the country at the same time. Researchers place China within the ranks of the 20 least equal nations in the world.

And as the nation marks 70 years of communist

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