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Privileges of being a Beijing resident

This year I came to Beijing for postgraduate study after completing a four-year undergraduate degree in a small city near Beijing. I enjoy living in Beijing and the many associated privileges of being part of the city.

When I was in high school, I failed to come to Beijing for university because the required exam scores were too high. After having spent 10 months to prepare for graduate school, I finally succeeded in entering Beijing. Now, several months later, I understand why so many people want to come here.

When A/H1N1 broke out, my parents started worrying about me. When I told them that all residents in Beijing could be vaccinated, they agreed for me to take the jab because they believed the capital would ensure the vaccination was safe. They felt relieved after I received the shot several weeks ago.

Then I learned from my former college classmates, who had worked in Qinghai province as volunteers, that many pupils in local rural primary schools were sick with fever. The medical condition there was poor and they had to wait for the vaccination.

Students in my university came from across the country. We've talked about the differences between the capital and other cities. In Hebei province, the fee for CET-4 or CET-6, which are English proficiency exams, is 30 yuan compared with 15 yuan in Beijing. Civil service exam charges are also different in various regions, with fees in Beijing among the lowest. We all know that the level of consumption in Beijing is high, but exam fees are low. This shows the privileges of people living in Beijing.

China has only one capital and it is the political and cultural center. The whole world is watching Beijing and surprised by its progress. But when will we see a China without such a deep gap between the capital and the rest of the country, especially those poor areas? All I know is that social harmony cannot be achieved without equality.

Readers are welcome to contribute their thoughts to METRO. Articles about your life and work in Beijing should be fewer than 700 words. Send to metro_opinion@chinadaily.com.cn. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of METRO.

Source: China Daily