China Daily (Hong Kong) - - NATION -

Less than half of those polled in a gov­ern­ment think tank sur­vey be­lieve the coun­try’s anti-cor­rup­tion ef­forts this year have paid off. The re­port, re­leased by the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences on Thurs­day, said 41.7 per­cent of those polled were con­tent with the coun­try’s anti-graft ef­forts this year, a rise of 12 per­cent­age points from a sim­i­lar poll in 2011. The re­port, which polled 7,388 Chi­nese res­i­dents ages 18 to 69 in 151 coun­ties from 31 pro­vin­cial ar­eas, found that 37.3 per­cent be­lieve that the level of cor­rup­tion in the coun­try is “very grave”. Slightly less than 37 per­cent said cor­rup­tion is “rel­a­tively grave”. Mean­while, cor­rup­tion re­mains the most re­sented so­cial prob­lem in China, with 34.6 per­cent call­ing cor­rup­tion the most se­vere so­cial prob­lem to­day. The Com­mu­nist Party of China’s ef­forts to curb ex­trav­a­gant be­hav­ior at work won ap­proval among those polled, with 54.7 per­cent be­liev­ing that the fre­quency of lav­ish pub­lic banquets was re­duced. More than 50 per­cent be­lieve ex­trav­a­gance among of­fi­cials has been re­duced. The Party’s anti-graft ef­forts also boosted pub­lic con­fi­dence in of­fi­cials, with more than 70 per­cent say­ing they are con­fi­dent that the Party’s anti-graft ef­forts in the next five to 10 years could yield sig­nif­i­cant re­sults. In 2011, less than 60 per­cent in a sim­i­lar poll were con­fi­dent in the Party’s anti-graft ef­forts. China may suf­fer an ag­gra­vated la­bor short­age af­ter the up­com­ing Spring Fes­ti­val hol­i­day due to ris­ing liv­ing costs in cities, ac­cord­ing to the

re­leased on Thurs­day. Rental prices grew grad­u­ally in many cities in China due to lo­cal sky­rock­et­ing prices for both new homes and sec­ond­hand houses. The price of grains, veg­eta­bles and fruit also surged in ur­ban ar­eas, it said. “Com­pared with the cur­rent rise of such liv­ing costs in cities, the in­crease in in­comes was in­signif­i­cant for ru­ral mi­grant work­ers,” it said. Prop­erty prices in 69 of the coun­try’s 70 ma­jor cities grew year-on-year in Oc­to­ber, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Bureau of Sta­tis­tics. The num­ber of cities record­ing strong price gains of more than 10 per­cent year-on-year in­creased to 21 in Oc­to­ber from 14 in Septem­ber, it said. In Bei­jing, the growth in prop­erty prices was more than 20 per­cent year-on-year in Oc­to­ber, said Zhang Yi, deputy head of the In­sti­tute of So­ci­ol­ogy un­der the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences. “La­bor­ers who float in cities have dif­fi­cult lives since their wages ac­tu­ally have not in­creased very much. Life, not only for ru­ral mi­grant work­ers but also for some white-col­lar em­ploy­ees, was be­ing af­fected largely due to the ris­ing liv­ing costs,” he said. Nine­teen per­cent of Chi­nese res­i­dents are will­ing to em­i­grate to other coun­tries, a re­cent sur­vey showed. Of the six cities in­cluded in the sur­vey, Guangzhou had the high­est rate, with 39.9 per­cent of its peo­ple will­ing to leave China. In Shang­hai, 33.7 per­cent would leave. The sur­vey re­ported in the

polled 2,000 res­i­dents to learn more about their views on China’s cur­rent qual­ity of life. Al­though 90 per­cent of those sur­veyed said they are proud of be­ing Chi­nese, many have a strong will­ing­ness to move to another coun­try if are pre­sented with a fa­vor­able op­por­tu­nity, ac­cord­ing to the re­port. “In the pre­vi­ous study, high will­ing­ness to em­i­grate was mainly found in groups with high in­come, high ed­u­ca­tional back­ground and high oc­cu­pa­tional sta­tus. But this sur­vey showed that or­di­nary peo­ple also have high will­ing­ness to move, de­pend­ing on cir­cum­stances,” said Zhang Haidong, who led the re­search. The deeper rea­son for the will­ing­ness to move lies in the cur­rent low qual­ity of life, Zhang said on Thurs­day. “Low so­cial se­cu­rity and eco­nomic con­cerns have brought stress into res­i­dents’ lives, and they are full of un­cer­tainty about the fu­ture,” Zhang said. Other fac­tors such as wide­spread dis­trust and so­cial ex­clu­sion have re­in­forced the sense of in­se­cu­rity, Zhang said.

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