BEIJING (AFP) - Authorities in northwestern China have become the latest in the country to hike minimum wages, state media said Thursday, Beijing battles to contain rising food prices and labour action over low pay. Qinghai, located on the Tibetan plateau, said it will raise the lowest wages by an average 28.8 percent from next month, boosting the monthly income in some areas to 770 yuan, the China Daily said. Most provinces, regions and municipalities across China have raised official minimum wages this year, the report said. Only Guangxi region in the south, Gansu province in the northwest and Chongqing city and Guizhou province in the southwest are yet to raise wages. Shanghai now has the highest monthly pay in the country, with a minimum salary at 1,120 yuan. Beijing offers the highest minimum hourly wage of around 11 yuan, it said. Experts said the hikes could help households deal with rising consumer prices, which were up 3.3 percent in July, compared with 2.9pc in June, official data released last week showed. The wage increases are also expected to help maintain social stability after a spate of strikes and labour disputes at factories around the country in recent months.