Chinese people dissatisfied with food safety, environment

Updated: 2012-12-07 13:41


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BEIJING -- Chinese people are generally satisfied with the government's public services, but they are becoming increasingly concerned about the quality of what they eat and the environment in which they live, a scholar said Thursday.

A survey measuring how people feel about basic public services in China found that services concerning environmental protection and food safety scored below three points on a five-point scale, highlighting that security incidents and food safety scandals have reduced people's confidence in recent years.

The results of the survey conducted among 8,070 people were released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, or CASS, in a report, and they sum up people's degrees of satisfaction with infrastructure, public security, social security, medical and health services, education and environmental protection.

Although the rest of the categories received passing scores, as China has expanded investment in education and infrastructure in the country's western regions and rural areas, there are still some problems of imbalance, said CASS research fellow Wu Ying, one of the compilers of the report.

The satisfaction scores were calculated according to five degrees, ranging from 1 to 5 points, with 1 being "extremely dissatisfied" and 5 being "very satisfied".

In addition to the imbalances in public services between rural and urban areas, Wu said disparities also exist among different groups living in the same place who are divided according to factors such as where they live, whom they work for and how much they earn.

Those who live in urban downtown areas tend to be more satisfied with infrastructure, social security, education and medical health facilities, compared to those who live in suburbs, according to the report.

It noted that people who work in government and for government-sponsored institutions are among the most satisfied groups.

The report also found that those with a monthly salary of more than 5,000 yuan ($794.77) feel happier and are more confident about the future than their peers earning less than 1,000 yuan per month.

According to the report, people working in State-owned enterprises are the least content with social security, partly due to a sense of insecurity after a reform in this sector that was launched about two decades ago resulted in millions of laid-off workers.