Survey: Corruption and pollution top Chinese public concerns

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The proportion of China’s 1.35 billion people worried about official corruption has more than doubled, with concerns also high over social inequalities and environmental pollution, a survey found.

Fully 84 per cent of 3,649 people surveyed say corrupt officials are a “moderately big or very big” problem, up from 39 per cent in a 2008 poll, the US-based Pew Research Centre said late Thursday.

Respondents were also worried about the environmental effects of China’s rapid and sustained economic expansion.

Thirty-five per cent said air pollution is a “very big” problem and 34 per cent said the same about water pollution. Serious concerns about food safety have nearly tripled since 2008.

People expressed mixed reactions to China’s rapid economic development. Most said they liked the pace of modern life but three in 10 cited the growing gap between the rich and poor as a top concern.

The Chinese government launched a campaign in 2012 to punish corrupt officials in both high and low positions, but many Chinese still feel corruption is endemic.

The survey also came amid concerns of economic slowdown as the country’s main stock exchange recently lost all the gains it made in 2015.

But overall more than three-quarters of Chinese (77 per cent) believe their family is better off today than they were five years ago.

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