Protecting environment tops public concerns in poll HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SURVEY
About 60 percent of Chinese want the government to give priority to environmental protection when boosting economic growth, according to a survey released on Thursday.
The Public Opinion Research Laboratory of Shanghai Jiao Tong University polled by telephone more than 8,500 residents from 35 cities about Chinese people’s basic living conditions and how they look at public services and hot social issues.
Of the 8,500, the survey asked 1,050 residents about the environment. More than half of the 1,050 said they had concerns, with women paying more attention to environmental protection than men.
“In recent years, environmental issues have been seriously increasing, and the public has expressed concerns. In light of this, the government should work out effective solutions,” said Xie Yungeng, a Shanghai Jiao Tong University professor who compiled the report.
Eighty-three percent of respondents said their cities have smog, and about one-third said that smog is serious.
In seven cities — Beijing, Harbin, Hefei, Nanjing, Shanghai, Wuhan and Zhengzhou — up to 60 percent thought the smog in their cities was serious. Food safety • Food safety remained one of the top concerns of urban residents in China with nearly one-third saying they are unsure or very unsure about food safety, according to a recent survey. Of the 1,050 respondents, 32.9 percent have encountered food safety problems, including the sale of expired food products, fake products and products that fail sanitary standards. Retirement • The poll of 1,050 also found that people have a low acceptance for the policy of delaying retirement, with 52.2 percent objecting to the policy, among which 27 percent are “quite” against it. • The research indicated that men gave more support to the policy than women, and those aged 30 to 60 have the lowest level of support compared with other age groups. Employees from enterprises gave the least support to the policy than people in other occupations.
Regarding its impact on their lives, 63 percent said they reduced unnecessary trips and about 72 percent said they reduced their outdoor activities.
Higher-educated respondents tended to agree that environmental protection should be put ahead of economic development, and they Health reform • Of 1,120 people interviewed, nearly 60 percent said they were confident in the future of the country’s health reform. However, the more educated they are, the less confident the interviewees were in the reform. • More than 77 percent of the interviewees said the cost of medical service is “high” or “very high”. More than half of those surveyed said medical examinations and medicines cost too much. • More than half of the interviewees said that the main cause for tension between doctors and patients is the lack of morality of medical workers. Yet about 45 percent said they would try to solve their conflicts with hospitals and doctors through negotiation. More than 46 percent believed that the government doesn’t impose strict supervision, and doctors write excessive prescriptions, which are main reasons people spend so much money on treatment and usually find it hard to make a doctor’s appointment. were more willing to report and complain about environmental damage, the report said.
“Checking the Air Quality Index has become a must-do each day before I go to work. We hope that the government will work out tangible results in environmental protection, Education • Of the 1,050 respondents, 70.8 percent think that elementary and middle school students in China face great pressure from study, and 38.1 percent believe that China’s current school education system cannot meet the requirements of social development. • The survey also found that 34.4 percent feel satisfied about China’s preschool education, while 36 percent say they don’t know much about the situation of higher education. • More than 42 percent feel satisfied about the government’s investment in education. Among them, 12.2 percent feel “fully satisfied” and 30.2 percent say they are “generally satisfied”. • On the other side, 19.2 percent say they are not that satisfied while 8.6 percent express strong discontent, believing that there is much room to improve. such as limiting vehicles and promoting public transportation,” said Zhao Xin, a man in his early 30s.
Xie, the report’s compiler, said: “Increasing public complaints will help push the government to improve its work. But if such opinions are not given enough attention, the public will feel helpless and become less active in environmental protection”.
About 58 percent of respondents believe the government plays a critical role in environmental protection, and 43 percent said government environmental assessments lack credibility, according to the report.
Regional environmental pollution reports should be more transparent, letting residents know what happened, according to experts.
Although residents pay close attention to smog, only 38 percent said they knew what causes it.
The report stressed that public awareness of environmental protection should be improved and should be especially cultivated from childhood.
The Shanghai Environmental Educational Coordination Committee said on Thursday that it will roll out a series of activities this year to encourage a change in behavior and mindset among primary and middle school students.
“Strengthening environmental education in schools is a very important part of improving public awareness of environmental issues,” said Zhao Caixin, an official from the committee.
About 70 percent said they have confidence in the improvement of the country’s environment in the future, report said.