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Chinese puzzle

According to the World Bank, the number of people in the world living in extreme poverty (which is, perhaps questionably, defined as under $1 a day) has fallen from 1.451bn in 1981 to 1.101bn in 2001. This is a drop of 350m, or an encouraging 24 per cent. The Bank also tells us that over a similar period the proportion of the Chinese population living in poverty fell from 61 to 17 per cent. But with over 1.3bn people living in China this means that well over 550m of them have escaped from poverty. If the Bank’s figures…

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