Growing concerns about corruption, inequality and food safety are coming to light in China, according to a recent Pew Research Center study. As the country prepares for its leadership change, the Chinese people are beginning to voice their opinions and concerns on the side effects of rapid economic growth. The Chinese have traditionally rated their national and personal economic situations positively over the past decade, but are now grappling with issues that even include political corruption.
The Chinese populace is increasingly expressing concern over inflation, which remains the top concern this year. Six in 10 Chinese individuals consider rising prices a very big problem. Some 50% of the population claims corruption is a major problem within their government, an alarming statistic that is up from 39% in 2008.
Worries about consumer protection have significantly increased. Following a number of high-profile food safety scandals in recent years, the percentage of the populace who voice concern to triple since 2008.
China’s economy has grown at a faster rate than most countries since the 2008 crash. But this rise has not been met with unbridled enthusiasm. About half the population now says the gap between rich and poor is a huge problem, and roughly 80% agree with the sentiment that the “rich just get richer while the poor get poorer.”
More so, the rapid changes that transformed their society during the country’s economic growth have not been welcomed by all. Most report liking the pace of modernity, but fewer hold this view than was the case four years ago. Sixty percent of Chinese say their traditional way of life is getting lost and even more think their way of life should be protected against foreign influence.
These key findings are the result of a survey conducted in China by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project. Face to face interviews were conducted with 3,177 people between March 18 and April 15, 2012.
For more in-depth results and findings, please visit Pew Research Center.