Pro­tect­ing en­vi­ron­ment tops pub­lic con­cerns in poll HIGH­LIGHTS OF THE SUR­VEY

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By WANG HONGYI in Shang­hai wanghongyi@chi­

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.

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