Political reform remains the top issue for most local-level cadres polled in a survey by the Communist Party School. The survey asked cadres, including county party secretaries and senior district officials, to rank the issues they were most concerned with and to suggest remedies to problems they identified. The study was conducted by Communist Party School Professor Xie Zhiqiang, the China Youth Daily reported. The report said 30.2 per cent of cadres polled said political reform was their top priority, while 19 per cent ranked reform of the party's appointment system as the most important issue. Other chosen issues included income distribution, which 15.5 per cent of respondents put at the top of their list, and reform of state-owned enterprises, named by 12.9 per cent. When asked what needed to be done to deepen political reforms, 35.3 per cent of the cadres said the promotion of democracy within the Communist Party was the most important issue. The second most-favoured option was changing the role of the government, which 28.4 per cent supported. Nineteen per cent said managing the relationship between the Communist Party and the government was their top issue. Professor Xie was quoted as saying that although the findings were not too different from those in previous surveys, they reflected the urgency of some of the problems being faced. 'These results showed that yesterday's focal points remain the hot issues of today,' the professor said. 'Furthermore, the urgency and level of concern of these issues [among cadres] are as high as last year. 'These problems are going to take time to resolve so we must seize the opportunity to implement the necessary reforms,' Professor Xie said.