Survey: China moving ahead

08:34, March 17, 2010      

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Employment, medical reform and housing prices major problems the country faces

Most Chinese as well as expatriates believe the country is rising and is progressing in the right direction, a survey has found.

The poll on China's image and status, conducted by the China Development Research Foundation (CDRF) and Horizon Research Consultancy Group interviewed 1,754 Chinese aged 18-65 and 313 adult foreigners in seven cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

According to the survey, nearly two in three Chinese believe the country is on an upward spiral, while a little more than half of expats think so. About 97 percent of Chinese think the direction China has taken is correct, compared to 81.8 percent for expats.

In addition, nearly all Chinese are confident about the country's future, compared to nine in 10 for expats.

Victor Yuan, chairman of Horizon Group, said the results suggest the nation's achievements in the past decades and its rise - both economically and politically - have helped improve its image among expats and the Chinese.

Yu Lin, a 38-year-old Beijing taxi driver, said: "Many big events, such as the Beijing Olympic Games, have bolstered pride and confidence in our country."

Luee Sun, a purchase executive for departments stores, called China's rise "a great story" which has helped shift the center of gravity of many industries to China.

But Lu Mai, secretary general of CDRF, said some Chinese people are too optimistic, as the survey found that 22.1 percent of the Chinese think the country has risen. "Don't forget that more than 100 million people in China are still living below the poverty line," Lu said.

The survey showed that the most urgent task is to ensure social wealth is distributed more fairly, with 42.3 percent of the Chinese and 30.7 percent of expats of that view.

About 825,000 have more than 10 million yuan ($1.47 million) of wealth each; among them, 51,000 are worth more than 100 million yuan each, according to the Hurun report on China's wealthy.

The per capita disposable income of urban residents was 17,175 yuan in 2009, and the net per capita income of rural residents was 5,153 yuan, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The survey also found that the most severe social problems faced by China are employment, medical reform and housing prices.

On the international front, most of the respondents - both Chinese and expats - ranked the United States as the No 1 threat to China's development now and in the next decade, followed by Japan, Russia and the European Union.

But the US is also ranked first as the country most important both economically and politically to China now and in the next 10 years.

Source: China Daily
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