March 30, 2023
BEIJING – Survey: Steps to lift ‘all of society’ also praised
The Chinese government’s efforts to maintain economic growth and keep improving people’s lives are major factors behind the high level of trust in China’s government among the nation’s citizens, a level that has once again surpassed those of other countries surveyed.
Among Chinese citizens interviewed by Edelman, a leading global public relations consultancy, 89 percent said that they trust their government — the highest percentage of all the countries surveyed.
About 32,000 respondents from 28 countries participated in the online surveys in November.
The China report of the 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual trust and credibility survey, was released on Wednesday.
The percentage of Chinese who said they trust their government has consistently remained at the top of the list in Edelman reports in recent years.
Edelman Global President and Chief Operating Officer Matthew Harrington said there is a sense of understanding and appreciation for China’s government that focuses on the continued growth and prosperity of the population.
The government worked hard to protect its citizens during the COVID-19 epidemic over the past three years, which also resulted in trust from the population, he said.
Fan Hong, director of the National Image Communication and Research Center at Tsinghua University, said the high level of trust showed that in the face of a challenging external environment, the Chinese government has continued to take positive actions.
Efforts were made by the government in solving social issues, promoting economic development, improving people’s lives and creating a green environment, and this has won recognition and trust from the people, she said.
The report indicated that economic optimism is flagging around the world, with 24 of 28 countries seeing all-time lows in the number of people who think their families will be better off in five years, while Chinese respondents remained optimistic about the economy.
“China remains an extraordinarily important economic force in the world economy,” said Harrington, adding that people around the world, as well as institutions ranging from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to economic think tanks, are optimistic about China’s economic growth this year.
The optimism could be seen in the recent visits to China by many foreign business people, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, who spoke at the recent China Development Forum about the importance of China to his company’s future.
Given the economic growth prospects, the Chinese government and the business community have the opportunity to deliver on the hope that Chinese families have for better lives in the coming years, he said.
He added that China “has done a good job of helping lift up all of society, and it hasn’t resulted in some of the wide gaps that exist elsewhere in the world where there are others being left behind”.
The results are consistent with the findings of another recent global survey. According to the Global Happiness 2023 report released recently by Ipsos, a leading global market research company, China has the highest level of happiness, at 91 percent.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a news conference this month that “people’s sense of happiness is like a mirror. It tells us the values that drive the nation and the competence of its government.”
Over the past 10 years, China has implemented a people-centered development philosophy. The goal is to meet the people’s ever-growing need for a better life and deliver a stronger sense of fulfillment, happiness and security to the people, he said.
Edelman’s reports in recent years have shown a wide gap in the respective trust levels of China and the United States. The most recent report shows that about 42 percent of US respondents said that they trust their nation’s government, which is 47 percentage points lower than the results for China.
Harrington said the low trust in government in the US is due to the economy in the past decade and the gap between haves and have-nots, which has resulted in polarization, leading to a trust gap.