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What Does China Think?

Are Chinese citizens happy with the direction their country is taking? Do they believe in a market economy? Do they believe that hard work brings success?

Each year, the American think tank Pew Research Center asks questions like these to over 300,000 interviewees across 59 countries as part of its “Global Attitudes Project.” This infographic, compiled by Chinese-language news site CNpolitics, highlights some of the major findings from the 3100-plus interviews the Global Attitudes Project conducted this past year in China. Some of the answers may be surprising, particularly given the fact that China is still ruled by a communist government. ChinaFile partner Tea Leaf Nation translates.

In China, Pew collected 3,177 samples; the results are shown in part below.

The Chinese respondents see their country’s economic situation as stronger than their personal economic situation

Chinese are the most optimistic about their country’s economic situation, though only 69 percent of Chinese respondents—a smaller percentage than in Brazil and Germany—felt that their personal economic situations were good. Among the twenty-one nations surveyed, citizens in nineteen felt that their personal economic situations were better than their country’s economic situation.

Chinese are skeptical that hard work brings success

Despite their strong confidence in China’s economy, respondents—living in the midst of high-speed economic development—were skeptical that hard work necessarily translates into success.

Chinese are more likely to believe Putin than Obama

Half of Chinese respondents trust Vladimir Putin, while Barack Obama and Angela Merkel are not particularly popular.

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Reference materials: Pew Research Center: Pew Global Attitudes Project, 2012
Data analysis by Fang Kecheng
Illustrations by Lv Yan
Translation by Eli Bildner
Additional translation by Luo Xiaoyuan
Adapted by David M. Barreda

Sustaining China’s Economic Growth After the Global Financial Crisis

The global financial crisis and ensuing economic downturn have raised many questions concerning the future of global economic growth. Prior to the financial crisis, global growth was characterized by growing imbalances, reflected primarily in large trade surpluses in China, Japan, Germany, and the oil exporting countries and rapidly growing deficits, primarily in the United States. The global crisis raises the question of whether the previous growth model of low consumption, high saving countries such as China is obsolete. Although a strong and rapid policy response beginning in the early fall of 2008 made China the first globally significant economy to come off the bottom and begin to grow more rapidly, critics charged that China's recovery was based on the old growth model, relying primarily on burgeoning investment in the short run and the expectation of a revival of expanding net exports once global recovery gained traction.

This study examines China's response to the global crisis, the prospects for altering the model of economic growth that dominated the first decade of this century, and the implications for the United States and the global economy of successful Chinese rebalancing.   —Peterson Institute for International Economics

Book Publisher: 
Peterson Institute for International Economics
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Author Bio: 

Nicholas R. Lardy is the Anthony M. Solomon Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He joined the Institute in March 2003 from the Brookings Institution, where he was a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program from 1995 until 2003 and served as interim director of Foreign Policy Studies in 2001. Before Brookings, he served at the University of Washington, where he was the director of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies from 1991 to 1995. From 1997 through the spring of 2000, he was also the Frederick Frank Adjunct Professor of International Trade and Finance at the Yale University School of Management. He is an expert on Asia, especially the Chinese economy.

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Nicholas R. Lardy
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January 2012

Macroeconomic Policy to the Forefront: The Changing of the Guard

Worries continue to swirl around the Chinese and global economies, and China’s growth is slowing at the end of 2011. However, the news from China in the third quarter of 2011 was basically positive: inflationary pressures eased while growth slowed only slightly. Moreover, surface indicators of the health of China’s financial system remained stable and even improved slightly. These developments took some of the pressure off policy-makers, and opened up new space for policy adjustment and innovation. The overall economic environment is still challenging, and complex interactions among different parts of the financial system may not be fully understood. Moreover, today’s policy decisions are intertwined with important personnel changes. In fact, the man most responsible for defending the financial health of China's banks has just stepped down: The retirement of Liu Mingkang, head of the China Bank Regulatory Commission, may have profound consequences for the Chinese financial system.

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Barry Naughton He Jianan

Hong Kong’s Recovery from the Global Financial Crisis

Hong Kong’s economy was severely affected by the global financial crisis (through both trade and financial channels). A recovery is now underway, fueled by growth on the Mainland, supportive policies, and accommodative monetary conditions imported from the U.S. A 2009 International Monetary Fund consultation, which this report details, centered on the policies needed in the coming months to manage the economic recovery and the opportunities for Hong Kong SAR should the Mainland successfully rebalance from investment and exports toward private consumption.

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A 2009 Assessment

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