Zhang Lan, 43-year-old primary school teacher in southwest China's Sichuan province, has seen her monthly salary quadruple over the past decade to 4,000 yuan, but she still has to pinch pennies.
"My monthly income still falls short of the price of one square meter of an apartment," says Zhang.
The urban dweller complains that with more than 20 years of work experience, her income still lags far behind those in the country's monopolized industries and sectors.
But public discontent over income distribution is not confined to cities.
Latest statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics showed country's rural per capita cash income in the first three quarters this year was 6,778 yuan ($1,084), which was only 36.8 percent of the per capita disposable income of urban residents in the same period.
Analysts warn that China's yawning wealth gap has triggered not only rural resentment over the wealthy urban dwellers, but also is brewing discontent within cities as well as villages.
Although the Chinese economy has grown into the world's second largest, the original goal of China's economic reform to achieve common prosperity remains a distant future, they warn.
"Poverty and backwardness brew social turmoils. The remedy is to put development first to secure economic prosperity, sufficient employment and the smooth flow of wealth," says Ji Zhengju, researcher with the Central Compilation and Translation Bureau (CCTB) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.
The State Council, China's Cabinet, has decided to establish an overall income distribution plan by the end of this year, and observers have put high hope on the upcoming National Congress of the CPC which is scheduled to open on November 8.
Zhao Chenggen, professor with the School of Government of Peking University, expects China's new leadership to elaborate on how to boost economy and how to make sure economic fruits shared by all Chinese in a more equitable way.
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