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Handling of pandemic boosts trust in Chinese govt, says York University study

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-05-14 14:23

Visitors attend a photo exhibition marking the victory of Wuhan and Hubei over the coronavirus on April 4, 2021. ZHOU GUOQIANG/FOR CHINA DAILY

A research initiated by Cary Wu, a sociology professor at York University in Toronto, has shown that the Chinese government's handling of the pandemic has actually boosted citizens' trust.

The professor and his team interviewed 19,816 individuals from 31 provinces or provincial-level administrative regions across China in late April 2020 to research whether the pandemic has shaken the long-standing support of Chinese citizens for their government, reported The Washington Post newspaper.

The data show that Chinese citizens' trust in their national government increased to 98 percent. The 2018 World Values Survey reported that 95 percent of Chinese citizens said that they have a great deal or quite a lot of trust in national government.

Their trust in local government also rose compared to 2018 levels (69 percent) — 91 percent of Chinese citizens surveyed now said they trust or trust completely township-level governments.

Trust levels rose to 93 percent at the county level, 94 percent at the city level and 95 percent at the provincial level.

These numbers suggest that Chinese citizens have become more trusting in all levels of government.

Their survey also asked respondents how their trust in government had changed since the outbreak. Nearly half of respondents (49 percent) said they had become more trusting in the national government since the pandemic started, with 48 percent reporting no change and only about 3 percent said they had become less trusting.

Trust is high among Chinese citizens who look at government performance with a critical eye, suggesting that high government trust in China during the pandemic reflects Chinese citizens' true satisfaction with their government performance, the professor noted.

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