'Widening wealth gap proves obstacle to prosperity'
When night falls, a middle-aged man walks slowly toward a trash bin near the busy Xuanwumen intersection in downtown Beijing, and looks around before swiftly taking out an empty plastic bottle and then moving on to the next bin.
His tidy clothes and behavior suggest he is neither a street cleaner nor a scavenger from outside the Chinese capital, but a local resident of a low-income family who hopes to make some money through collecting recyclable bottles.
For the world's most populous nation and the second largest economy, the widening wealth gap is an obvious obstacle on the road to a "xiaokang" -- moderately prosperous -- society.
That poses grave challenges for Communist Party of China (CPC) leaders, who gathered Friday in Beijing to discuss the formulation of China's 12th Five-Year Program (2011-2015).