People's trust in CPC on rise, surveys find

(China Daily) 08:46, June 15, 2021

Epidemic-control workers brave the rain to transport medical supplies to fight COVID-19 in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, earlier this month. Photo provided to CHINA DAILY

Respondents satisfied with Party's role in leading pandemic fight, poverty relief

Chinese people's satisfaction and trust in the century-old Communist Party of China has been on the rise, driven by the Party leading the country in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and eliminating extreme poverty, according to reports and analysts.

Earlier this month, an image circulated online moved many netizens. Three epidemic-control workers dressed in white protective suits were seen in a fast-moving vehicle carrying medical supplies into driving wind and rain along a street in Guangzhou, Guangdong province's capital, which was recently hit by a new outbreak of COVID-19.

A red Party flag attached to the vehicle fluttered above the workers' heads, its bright color standing out in the dim light.

The image was taken by a resident in Liwan district, a high-risk area where the first locally transmitted case was reported in the latest outbreak, on June 2. He shared it on the microblogging service Sina Weibo and wrote: "In the rainstorm, it is you who carry this flag to charge to the front. Pay tribute to the heroes in harm's way."

Many netizens commented that the Party flag made them feel at ease. One wrote, "The Party flag always flutters high on the front line", and another commented "At critical moments, Party members will surely step up."

The Party's flag is reassuring to the Chinese people, especially after the strong leadership shown by Party organizations in implementing epidemic control measures beginning last year, and the arduous efforts of millions of Party members to eradicate absolute poverty in China.

A survey conducted by the University of California's China Data Lab showed support for the government among the Chinese public has risen, with the average level of trust in the central government increasing from 8.23 in June 2019 to 8.87 in May last year, measured on a scale of one to 10.

When respondents were asked whether they preferred living under China's political system compared with others, the percentage of respondents who preferred China's system increased from 70 percent to 83 percent over the same period.

A long-term Harvard University survey released last year found that Chinese citizens' satisfaction with the Party and the government has increased across the board, with the central government receiving a strong level of approval of 93 percent in 2016, the end of the survey period.

From the impact of broad national policies to the conduct of local town officials, Chinese citizens rate the government as more capable and effective than ever before, according to the report from the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation under the Harvard Kennedy School.

"The most striking feature of our survey's data since 2003 is the near universal increase in Chinese citizens' average satisfaction toward all four levels of government," the authors said in the report.

The independent survey drew on in-person interviews with more than 31,000 individuals from urban and rural areas between 2003 and 2016 to offer a look at how ordinary Chinese citizens felt about the government.

These trends are likely continuing today, Edward Cunningham, one of the authors of the report and director of the Ash Center China Programs at the Harvard Kennedy School, said in an article published by the Christian Science Monitor in February.

He cited the handling of the COVID-19 outbreak as an example, and said as the central government engaged in lockdowns and the situation improved, satisfaction with its actions had increased and spread to views of local governments.

A survey of 5,865 people issued last month by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' China Anti-Corruption Research Center showed 96 percent of respondents were satisfied with the epidemic control work. Over 90 percent said the government demonstrated good transparency and adjustment of policies to suit actual conditions were effective, according to the survey conducted in the second half of last year.

Zhang Wanhong, executive director of the Institute for Human Rights Studies at Wuhan University, said: "As a resident of Wuhan, I feel that people's satisfaction with the Party has been greatly improved, especially after the country resumed social stability after the big test of the epidemic and took the lead in realizing economic recovery. The Party is highly resilient and able to adapt to developments and meet different challenges."

Zhang recalled when the outbreak happened in Wuhan, Hubei province. Faced with the unprecedented epidemic, the Party and government quickly summed up what measures were necessary, including organizing community-level prevention and control and using big data to assess the crisis.

The Chinese government's epidemic prevention and control measures were successful as it adhered to the concept of putting life first and providing fair treatment, Zhang said. "People's feeling of gratitude toward the Party is genuine and simple because their lives and interests have been well protected," he said.


(Web editor: Liang Jun, Hongyu)


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