China's Income Gap Widens Between Rural and Urban Residents

China's Xinhua news agency says the income gap between rural and urban areas is widening in China, despite years of efforts by government officials to bridge the gap.

Vice Minister of Agriculture Yin Chengjie told Xinhua that last year, the average Chinese city resident earned nearly three-and-a-third times as much (3.28) as his counterpart in the countryside - slightly more than in 2004 (3.21).

Yin noted that the income growth rate of Chinese farmers has risen by more than six percent for the past three years. But they are still making far less than urban citizens.

Chinese leaders have long been promising to bridge the gap between the country's rich and poor.

Protests are becoming more frequent across the country, as villagers show their frustration about unemployment, corruption and abuse of power by government officials.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Xinhua.