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What Does China Think?

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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.