As China prepares for its once-in-a-decade change of leadership, the Chinese people believe their country faces serious and growing challenges. In particular, the side effects of rapid economic growth, including the gap between rich and poor, rising prices, pollution, and the loss of traditional culture are major concerns, and there are also increasing worries about political corruption. While the Chinese have consistently rated their national and personal economic situations positively over the last few years, they are now grappling with the concerns of a modern, increasingly wealthy society.
The Chinese public also increasingly expresses reservations about relations with the United States. Over the last two years, ratings for the U.S. and President Obama have declined significantly, and the percentage of Chinese who characterize their country’s relationship with the U.S. as one of cooperation has plummeted from 68% to 39%. Still, many Chinese embrace aspects of America’s soft power, including U.S. science and technology and American ideas about democracy.
Inflation remains the top concern of the Chinese public – six-in-ten consider rising prices a very big problem. Meanwhile, half say corrupt officials are a major problem, up from 39% four years ago.
Worries about consumer protection have also increased significantly. After a number of high-profile food safety scandals in recent years, concerns about the safety of food have more than tripled since 2008.
Read the full report, Growing Concerns in China about Inequality, Corruption, on the Pew Global Attitudes Project website.