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China’s development moved from a period of “wealth creation” that benefited the majority of the population to a period of “wealth concentration” that benefited a minority in the late 1990s. The consequent social displacement and tensions are clearly discernible, as epitomized by laid-off urban workers, landless peasants, and badly exploited migrants. Social welfare in China has so far not readdressed socioeconomic inequalities, and the market has certainly not been re-embedded into social institutions. The market remains poorly regulated and the state remains authoritarian. On the one hand, people are deeply skeptical about local governments and do not hesitate to violate...

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