Poor China, Rich China: Poverty, Wealth, and Inequality

Friday, May 13, 2016

UC Irvine Annual China Conference

8:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m., UC Irvine School of Law, EDU 1111 (Directions)

Rising China is imagined as a land of success, where living standards have shot up in a short space of time, and where a new middle class now thrives. This conference does something different: it examines two polar sides of the wealth spectrum, and asks: Why and how did the country’s economic reform produce a new rich and a new poor?

The UCI Long U.S.–China Institute, the School of Social Sciences, and the School of Humanities bring together leading speakers from across the country to address these topics.

Register online >


  • Ann Anagnost, University of Washington
    • "A New Great Leap Forward? China's Urbanization Policy: Implication for Food Security and Rural Well-Being"
  • Alexander F. Day, Occidental College
    • "The End of the Alternatives? Capitalists, Agrarian Change, and New Rural Reconstruction in China" (with Mindi Schneider)
  • Wang Feng, UC Irvine
    • "Benevolent State against an Unequal Society? Inequities in Public Transfer in China"
  • Karl Gerth, UC San Diego
    • "Peddling Prosperity: Getihu as Drivers of Change in Early Postsocialist China, 1978-92"
  • Joshua Goldstein, University of Southern California 
    • "From the Trash Heap to the Ash Heap? Possible Fates Facing China's 3-5 Million Informal Recyclers." 
  • John Osburg, University of Rochester
    • "Corruption, Anti-Corruption, and the Dynamics of Elite Class Formation in Post-Mao China"
  • Scott Rozelle, Stanford University
    • "Identifying the Sources of Rural-Urban Human Capital Inequality: Rural Health, Nutrition and Education"
  • Kamal Sadiq, UC Irvine
  • Dorothy Solinger, UC Irvine
    • "Banish the Impoverished Past: The Predicament of the Abandoned Urban Poor"
  • Jeffrey Wasserstrom, UC Irvine
  • Yang Su, UC Irvine
  • Li Zhang, UC Davis
    • "Convergence and Divergence among the Rich and the Poor"


8:30-9:00        Arrival, pastry and coffee

9:00-9:15        Welcome  Dean Bill Maurer (UC Irvine)

9:15-10:15       Keynote (Introduced by Dorothy Solinger (UCI))

        • Li Zhang (UC Davis)

10:15-10:30     Coffee break

10:30-12:30     Rural Poverty  (Chair: Yang Su (UCI))

        • Scott Rozelle (Stanford)
        • Alexander F. Day (Occidental College)
        • Ann Anagnost (U. Washington)

12:30-1:30       Lunch

1:30 – 3:00      Urban Poverty (Chair:  Kamal Sadiq (UCI))

        • Joshua Goldstein (USC)
        • Dorothy Solinger (UCI)

3:30-3:45        Coffee Break

3:45-5:05        Wealth (Chair: Mei Zhan (UCI))

        • John Osburg (Rochester)
        • Karl Gerth (UC San Diego)

5:05-5:45        Inequality (Chair: Benjamin van Rooij (UCI))

        • Wang Feng (UC Irvine)

5:45-6:00        Concluding Remarks

        • Li Zhang (UC Davis) (or Dorothy Solinger) (UCI)
        • Jeffrey Wasserstrom (UCI)