everyone i have seen or met (in chna) is well fed and housed. some of them have a lot less space than you or i, but there seems to be electricity (lights, tv, cookers) in ever house, they are all well clothed. they all seem reasonably clean. there is compulosory and free education for all children.
there is a large amount of litter about the entire place, but it's disposable packets and general rubbish. it's a throw away society.
there is a gap between the rich and the poor, but i am yet to witness subsistance living. there's people going through trash, but it's to take left overs home to feed animals (mostly pigs)
it strikes me this isn't poverty. these people are all trying, as hard as they can, to industrialise, and get ahead, they are all climbing the ladder and working flat out to make a buck. i am sure there are cases of extreme misfortune and i hear tales of innocent hill tribes being taken advantage of, but, not on the scale of africans of south americans (peru/chille)
it's a different cultural attitude, where family is everything, the boss is the biggest man around, and then you think about greater china.
but the people here aren't poor. it's the same as asking if the english were poor when they were industrialising (except china seems to be doing it better than they did. lessons learnt?)
yeah. just my 2c worth.