2009: PRC Magazine Survey Lists Ten Top Chinese Concerns for the Coming Decade


A People’s Forum magazine survey of academics, cadres and people online: what are the most serious problems China will face over the next decade?


The survey allowed multiple responses to questions. I added a few comments in brackets.


  1. The corruption problem will exceed the tolerance level of the people 82.3%  [This way of putting it is interesting, since the problem isn’t just the level of corruption but the level of corruption compared to what Chinese people will put up with. The tolerance level would probably decline as people become more educated and better informed. ]
  2. Increasing gap between the rich and the poor. 80.6%   [Perhaps these days even between richer officials and businesspeople getting poorer, as in the financial crisis there is talk of state enterprises moving ahead and private enterprises retreating — guojin mintui.  国进民推]
  3. Conflicts with the masses at the grassroots level 63.2%  [The 2010 CASS Blue Book discussed this, and argues that the role of the internet and cell phones is growing in spreading news of problems and so leading to incidents. ]
  4. High housing prices making housing unaffordable for people with low incomes.
  5. Crisis of trust, loss of moral standards  61.7%
  6. Democratic governance reforms less than people expect 52.3%
  7. Pollution and ecological damage  51.8%
  8. The aging bulge of older people in China’s aging population and the prospect that the elderly will not be supported in old age.  44.1%
  9. Jobless university graduates not finding a job leading to instability   43.4%
  10. Crisis of the marginalization of traditional moral values    36.3%

Of the over 4400 people surveyed, 55% see difficulties ahead for the ruling party and the people; 30% see economic stagnation if the proper policies are not adopted.

The first stage of the survey asked 150 Chinese experts contacted November 16 – 24 to give their top ten concerns.  The top 20 concerns of the group were used in stage two of the survey which was conducted online between November 26 and December 8.  Over 8000 responses to the online survey were received.

An article about the survey had already over 1200 comments when I looked  the URL for the comments still works though some were likely censored:  http://comment.news.163.com/news_guonei4_bbs/5RA545910001124J.html

I found a copy of a press report about the same survey on a different website.

One of the comments is “Finally a survey report that reflects reality!”  终于看到一个基本符合实情的调查报告了.

“6688, 82.3% of the people surveyed people surveyed believe that “The corruption problem will exceed the tolerance level of the people” is the most serious challenge of the next decade.
“Editor’s note:  Although fighting corruption has been the consistent position and policy of our party, and the punishments for corruption are getting more severe year by year and the great accomplishments in this area are plain to see, and have won the whole-hearted support of the masses.  However it must be pointed out that corruption has not been brought under control.  At certain times, in certain places and in certain regions corruption is even becoming more serious.  This can be seen from the increasing numbers of people who are breaking the law, in the higher and higher rank of the people involved, and the greater and greater sums of money involved. The problem of the “birth rate” of corruption being higher than the “death rate of corruption” has not been settled once and for all.”

At the bottom of the first page is a series of links that leads to a page on each of the top ten responses with commentary from a Chinese expert.

For example Wang Minggao on corruption.  Wang Minggao writes that China’s problem goes back to the thousands of years old imperial system that trusts to the virtue of the rulers and officials rooted in the idea that human beings are basically good. In a developed country on the other side of the planet, in order to prevent the expansion of political power, monopolies and arbitrary actions, another experiment was undertaken by establishing a political system based on legal principles, aimed at creating an external constraint on political power. This approach is rooted in another theoretical assumption and ideological belief — human nature is evil.

历史原因是:以君主专制为核心的伦理型政治,在中国占统治地位并长期延续。数千年来,人们可以对现存的政治状况进行激烈的批判,主张各种政治改革甚至进行 政治“革命”,但很少有人对这种以人治为基本特征的君主政治的根本点发生怀疑。君主专制、中央集权、自上而下的官僚网络等等一切都是自然而然的,即使存在 着政治腐败现象,也不过是帝王、官僚的道德品质问题,关键在于使统治者——权力握有者保持或恢复他们内在的贤明、善良。之所以产生如此认识,都是基于一个 基本的理论前提和思想信念——人性本善。恰恰相反,在地球另一端的发达国家,为防止政治权力的扩张、垄断和专制,却进行着另一种探索,即建立法理型政治体 制,全力谋求对政治权力的外部制约。所以如此认识,也是基于一个基本的理论前提和思想信念——人性本恶。


编者引言 虽然惩治腐败是我们党的一贯立场和方针,而且惩治腐败的力度逐年加大,取得的成绩有目共睹,赢得了人民群众的衷心拥护。但无须讳言的是,腐败并未得到有效 遏制,在某些时期、某些地方、某些领域甚至还呈蔓延之势,主要表现在犯罪的人数越来越多,职务越来越高,金额越来越大,腐败的“出生率”大于“死亡率”的 问题没有得到根本解决。



人民论坛“千人问卷”调查组 《 人民论坛 》(2009年第31期


根据人民论坛“千人问卷”调查显示,未来10年10项挑战分别为:第一大挑战为“腐败问题突破民众承受底线”,82.3% 的受访者选择了此项;第二大挑战为“贫富差距拉大,分配不公激化社会矛盾”,80.6%的受访者选择了此项; 第三大挑战为“基层干群冲突”,63.2%的受访者选择了此项; 第四大挑战为“高房价与低收入的矛盾”,62.8%的受访者选择了此项;第五大挑战为“诚信危机,道德失范 ”,61.7%的受访者选择了此项;第六大挑战为“民主政治改革低于公众预期”, 52.3%的受访者选择了此项;第七大挑战为“环境污染,生态破坏”, 51.6%的受访者选择了此项;第八大挑战为“老龄化矛盾凸显,老无所依,老无所养 ”, 44.1%的受访者选择了此项;第九大挑战为“大学毕业生就业更加困难,诱发不稳定因素”, 43.4% 的受访者选择了此项;第十大挑战为“主流价值观边缘化危机”,36.3% 的受访者选择了此项。












通过网络投票统计,我们按照百分比从高到低,列出了10个严峻挑战(如图)。政治领域受关注的问题主要集中在腐败、干群矛盾及政治改革,如分别为第一、第三、第六大挑战的是“腐败问题突破民众承受底线”,“基层干群冲突”以及“政治民主改革低于民众预期”。但从数量来看,民生问题居多,如分别为第二、第四、第八、第九大挑战的是“贫富差距逐步拉大,分配不公激化社会矛盾”,“高房价与低收入的矛盾不断积累并爆发”,“老龄化矛盾凸显,老无所依,老无所养”, 以及“大学毕业生就业更加困难,诱发不稳定因素”。

“环境危机”为第七大挑战。位居第五、第十大挑战的是“诚信缺失,道德失范”和“西方价值观主流化与主流价值观边缘化的矛盾”。可见,在经济快速发展的今天,经济问题已经不是人们关心的首要问题,由经济发展带来的政治、社会、道德问题才是我们的政府和社会所应该反思的。针对每个挑战,我们约请专家进行了深入分析,他们的精到见解切中问题的要害,值得品读。(执笔:高源 马静)


About 高大伟 David Cowhig

Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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