Urban anguish at decline in socialist values

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 January, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 January, 2000, 12:00am

Most urban dwellers are disappointed by the country's declining socialist values and division of wealth, a survey has showed.

Some 2,800 families in more than 60 cities were asked to identify 18 issues which caused them most satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

More than 82 per cent said they were unhappy about declining socialist culture and more than 80 per cent were worried by the widening gap between the rich and poor.

Other areas of complaint were unemployment, poor-quality goods, lax environmental protection, law and order, social welfare, and disrespect for the law by cadres.

Their levels of disapproval were all above 60 per cent, according to a report by the Hong Kong China News Agency yesterday.

But the interviewees were happy about low inflation. More than 60 per cent of the families said they were not worried by price increases.

The country's international prestige ranked high on the approval list.

They also gave the thumbs-up to the slowly recovering economy.

Reforms have not only changed China's economic landscape dramatically in the past two decades but also destroyed most people's faith in communism.

This ideological void has been further eroded by rampant corruption in the bureaucracy and forced Communist Party bureaucrats to turn to ideals like nationalism in order to buttress their authority.

The survey was jointly conducted by the State Commission for Restructuring the Economy and the China Academy of Social Sciences.