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American Association for Public Opinion Research

Comparing Mass and Elite Subjective Orientations in Urban China


Author(s): Jie Chen
Source: The Public Opinion Quarterly, Vol. 63, No. 2 (Summer, 1999), pp. 193-219
Published by: Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Association for Public
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COMPARING MASS AND ELITE
SUBJECTIVE ORIENTATIONS
IN URBAN CHINA
JIE CHEN
Abstract Comparisons of mass and elite sociopolitical prefer-
ences and levels of their attitudinal consistency are critical for under-
standing mass-elite interaction and hence political development in
such a rapidly changing society as China. Yet such studies are very
scarce for urban China. Based on the responses to identical questions
asked of both mass and elite interviewees in Beijing, this article
submits four important findings. First, while the masses and elites
shared similar views on government policy performance and the role
of the individual in politics, they held quite different positions on
issues of regime legitimacy, reform assessment, and democratic
principles. Second, these two sets of political actors organized their
subjective orientations to some issues similarly but to others differ-
ently. Third, in general, the elites in this study had low attitudinal
consistency relative to their counterparts in many other studies. And,
finally, such relatively low attitudinal consistency among the elites
seemed to be caused at least in part by the ongoing decay of the
Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) grassroots organizations. These
findings have strong implications for the weakness and strength of
the CCP's rule and hence China's sociopolitical stability.
Do ordinary citizens and political elites in China share similar positions on
major sociopolitical issues? Do the two groups construct their respective
positions (or subjective orientations) similarly? These questions have a
lot to do with explaining the nature and characteristics of the relationship
between the two sets of political actors, and hence with predicting socio-
political development in that rapidly changing society.
Among studies of democratic and transitional societies, there are at
JIE CHEN is associate professor of political science and director of the Institute of
Asian Studies at Old Dominion University. The research reported here was supported
by Old Dominion University, the Social Science Research Institute of the University of
Tennessee-Knoxville, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and the Public Opinion
Research Institute of People's University of China in Beijing. The author wishes to
thank Christine Drake, Robert Holden, Xiushi Yang, and the anonymous referees for
their careful readings and insightful comments on earlier versions of this article.
Public Opinion Quarterly Volume 63:193-219
?
1999 by the American Association for Public Opinion Research
All rights reserved. 0033-362X/99/6302-0001$02.50
194 Jie Chen
least three major concerns that have motivated inquiries into congruence
(or similarity) between mass and elite attitudes and constraint (or consis-
tency) of their respective belief systems (e.g., Achen 1978; Converse and
Pierce 1986; Dalton 1985; Hermann 1986; Huber and Powell 1994; Jen-
nings 1992; Miller, Hesli, and Reisinger, 1995, 1997; Reisinger et al.
1996). In relation to congruence, a first concern has been about the quality
of representation by the political elites. According to these studies, the
degree of congruence between mass and elite subjective orientations to
major political issues serves as a good indicator measuring how well polit-
ical leaders represent the views of ordinary people in a society. As Manion
(1996, p. 736) has noted, a high quality of representation is usually "re-
flected in significant agreement between citizens and elected leaders or
governing parties on specific issues or a general ideological dimension."
Again, in the same context of attitude congruence, a second concern is
about the sociopolitical consequence of the gap between mass and elite
attitudinal preferences. Some analysts argue that the high level of dis-
agreement between mass and elite attitudes can have serious political con-
sequences, especially in societies experiencing profound economic and
political reforms: "If the leaders . . . are significantly out of step with
popular preferences, implementing difficult or controversial policies will
be that much harder; similarly, if ordinary citizens have preferences that
differ from those of the elite . . . they could come to view the political
and economic reforms as either meaningless or lacking legitimacy. Under
these circumstances the citizenry may not only fail to comply with the
reforms but they may act to undermine them" (Miller, Hesli, and Rei-
singer 1995, p. 30).
In relation to attitude constraint, a third concern inspiring studies on
this subject is about the communication between the masses and elites.
As many analysts of constraint have argued, a significant discrepancy be-
tween the levels of belief consistency of these two groups can cause a
serious communication barrier between them in their dialogues on major
policy issues. As Jennings has explained, for example, "if elites view the
world in a decidedly more constrained and stable fashion, then it presum-
ably becomes more difficult for them to fashion agendas and priorities
that can appeal to large swatches of a more variegated, unconstrained rank
and file. From the other side, if ordinary citizens do not put their political
thoughts together in a consistent and stable fashion, or if they put them
together in a quite different fashion than do elites, it is not difficult to see
why they might be befuddled or discouraged by the behavior of what they
see as doctrinaire of 'ideological' elites" (Jennings 1992, p. 421).
In essence, these three major concerns addressed by previous studies
are all about the nature, characteristics, and consequences of the interac-
tions between the elites and the masses. I believe that although most of
these studies deal with elite-mass interplay in democratic systems, their
Mass and Elite Orientations in China 195
insights into and approaches to congruence and constraint can also be
very useful for analyzing elite-mass interactions in post-Deng China.
China today is by no means a democratic society by Western standards.
Nonetheless, as Chinese society undergoes significant and rapid shifts in
its political and economic structures, the "relations between the govern-
ment and its people have changed dramatically" (Pei 1998, p. 77). One
of the most important indications of such a dramatic change is that the
local political elites have become-willingly or unwillingly-more re-
sponsive to popular views as more channels and opportunities have be-
come available for ordinary citizens' participation in public affairs, espe-
cially at local levels, since the early 1980s (see, e.g., Bernstein, 1993;
Jennings 1997; Manion 1996; O'Brien 1994; Pei 1994; Shi 1997; Shue
1988).1 In Beijing, for example, a growing number of municipal policies
and regulations-on such issues as housing, pollution, unemployment
benefits, and the appointment of district-government officials-have been
"adjusted" or "corrected" by municipal leaders (of course, not without
their initial reluctance) due, at least in part, to public complaints through
various channels in recent years (see Shi 1997, chap. 2). Although the
current elite-mass relationship can hardly be characterized as one between
the representatives and the represented, this relationship has no doubt be-
come more interactive, or reciprocal, than it was in the prereform era.
Under these circumstances, the study of mass-elite attitude congruence
and constraint as two key aspects of the interplay between these two sets
of political actors seems to be more important than ever before.
In this connection, a systematic analysis of attitude congruence and
constraint can help shed some light on at least two urgent political issues
in the context of the elite-mass relationship in contemporary China. One
is sociopolitical stability. Measured by the concept of congruence, a high
degree of similarity between mass and elite subjective orientations to the
country's most salient sociopolitical issues will more likely be a factor
fostering political harmony between the two groups, and hence social sta-
bility. Conversely, as Miller and his associates (1995, p. 30) have sug-
gested, a high degree of difference between elite and mass subjective ori-
entations will more likely be a catalyst for serious conflicts between the
two groups, and hence potential social instability (especially because
China's political representation system is still very limited and fragile,
and hence inadequate for resolving the conflicts effectively).
Related to attitude constraint among the elites and the masses, the other
political question is whether (given the use of coercion as a last resort)
the current ruling elites can resolve their conflicts with the masses over
some major controversial issues-such as major economic restructuring,
1. For example, citizens now have opportunities to participate in competitive elections of
local administrators in rural areas and delegates to local people's congresses in both rural
and urban areas.
196 jie Chen
democratization, and the current regime legitimacy-in a consensual,
peaceful manner without expanding the current, limited representation
system. The current leaders have time and again rejected the idea of estab-
lishing a "Western style" democracy in China. Nonetheless, given the
lessons they have learned from the 1989 Tiananmen Incident,2 they have
become more willing to play "kinder and gentler politics" (Pei 1998,
pp. 69-73) through the party-led "dialogue" between the masses and
the cadres to resolve conflicts and controversies (e.g., Jiang 1998). Any
meaningful dialogue involves two-way communication that is signifi-
cantly affected by the degree of similarity or difference between the levels
of attitude constraint among the two groups involved in the dialogue (see
Jennings 1992, p. 421). The high degree of similarity between the levels
of attitude constraint among the elites and masses, as mentioned above,
could enhance the feasibility and effectiveness of the dialogue and there-
fore increase the chances of consensual resolution of controversies. Con-
versely, a large gap between the levels of attitude consistency among the
two groups could foreshadow difficult communication between them, and
hence a dim future for consensual, peaceful resolution of controversies.
In today's China, this issue of effective and meaningful dialogue between
the political elites and masses has become increasingly important as more
and more frustrated employees of state-owned enterprises slip into the
army of the unemployed due to nation-wide economic restructuring.3
While a study of attitude congruence between local leaders and their
constituents and selectors in rural China has just emerged (see Manion
1996), so far there has been no empirical study comparing the levels of
attitude constraint among the elites and the masses in China, nor on the
issues of either attitude congruence or constraint in an urban setting within
that country. Therefore, as part of the concerted effort among students of
Chinese politics and comparative politics to grasp new dynamics behind
the elite-mass interaction, this study is intended to provide such a needed
analysis of both congruence and constraint in an urban environment in
China. Specifically, I begin my analysis with a brief discussion about the
data and clusters of attitudinal items for comparison; I then examine the
similarities and differences between subjective orientations of local politi-
cal elites and the masses, analyze the difference between the levels of
attitude constraint among the two groups, investigate major factors influ-
encing the level of elite attitude constraint, and finally conclude with some
2. Although the current top CCP leadership has so far refused to reverse in public the
original official verdict of the 1989 Tiananmen incident, it has done some soul searching
in private regarding the domestic and international consequences of large-scale coercion
(e.g., see Jiang 1997).
3. According to Hu Angang (1997), a leading Chinese scholar of labor markets, the actual
unemployment rate in urban areas was as high as about 8 percent; this rate was expected
to climb to 10-15 percent as soon as the government began to restructure state-owned
enterprises.
Mass and Elite Orientations in China 197
implications of my findings for future political and economic changes in
post-Deng China.
Data and Clusters of Subjective Orientations
The data analyzed in this study come from a representative-sample survey
conducted in an urban locale, Beijing, in late 1997 (see Appendix A).
Two important and unique features of the survey data allow us to carry
out this analysis. One is that this cross-sectional survey included respon-
dents who were either ordinary citizens (626) or typical local, urban politi-
cal elites (68). In this study, we defined local "political elites" according
to two important criteria: administrative position and membership in the
Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In today's China, the administrative
apparatus of local governments still prevails over the legislative apparatus
(e.g., see Lieberthal 1995). Therefore, those who hold administrative posi-
tions are typically considered political elites,4 since they have real power
to influence the socioeconomic life of ordinary citizens. Moreover, most
of the important administrative posts at local levels (at least in urban areas)
are still occupied by CCP members, for the regime still insists upon exer-
cising the "party leadership" at all levels of government. A typical ad-
ministrative ranking system in urban areas stratifies cadres into three ma-
jor categories: bureau-level (juji) leaders, who are considered high-level
cadres (gaoji ganbu); department-level (chuji) leaders, who are mid-level
cadres (zhongji ganbu); and section-level (keji) leaders, who are ordinary
cadres (yiban ganbu) (see Shi 1997, p. 56). Political elite respondents in
our sample covered all three categories (about 24 percent bureau-level,
36 percent department-level, and 40 percent section-level).5 And, as dis-
cussed in the next section, all these cadres did have power to set "local"
policies in their domains.
The other important feature of the data is that the same questionnaire
4. When comparing elite and mass belief systems, Miller, Hesli, and Reisinger (1995) and
Reisinger et al. (1996) also included administrators in the category of the elite.
5. Under the CCP's guidelines and supervision, juji and chuji cadres of both the municipal
government and district governments (under the municipal government) are selected by
the municipal people's congress (elected by the district people's congresses) or district
people's congresses (elected directly by the people); most keji cadres are appointed by
their higher authorities. But all of them may be removed from office by the municipal
people's congress or district people's congresses (see Central Committee 1995). For exam-
ple, in July 1996, the director of the financial bureau of the Beijing Municipality (juji, or
high-level cadre) was removed from office by a motion passed in the Beijing Municipal
People's Congress because of his misallocation of public funds (Wu 1998). In addition,
all these cadres have been increasingly scrutinized by the masses through various channels,
such as the news media and complaint bureaus. Thus, at least in theory, the cadres in our
sample are expected to be accountable to their constituents, given that the former should
not work to undermine the CCP's one-party rule. For a more detailed discussion on the
cadre system and mass scrutiny of the cadres in contemporary China, also see Shi (1997).
198 Jie Chen
items regarding attitudes toward major sociopolitical issues were applied
to both elite and mass interviewees. These two features, therefore, facili-
tate the following analysis of congruence and constraint, which is based
on comparison of positions of the entire set of elites and the entire set of
ordinary citizens-sampled from the same sociogeographic location6-
on the same set of sociopolitical issues.
Within our questionnaire, 33 questions were asked regarding respon-
dents' subjective orientations. Rather than including all these questions
in our analysis of congruence and constraint,7 we decided to select and
categorize the questions according to their "naturally occurring clusters"
(Miller, Hesli, and Reisinger 1995, p. 8). Following the steps of Miller,
Hesli, and Reisinger (1995), we conducted an exploratory factor analysis
with all 33 questions, using the sample of both mass and elite respondents.
As table 1 shows, five major factors, composed of 24 questions (see Ap-
pendix B), emerged from the factor analysis. These five factors dealt with
subjective orientations to five substantive areas: instrumental support (or
evaluation of government policies), affective support (or evaluation of
regime legitimacy), political efficacy, assessment of reform, and demo-
cratic values. These five factors together explain about half (48.6 percent)
of the item variance among all 33 items. The instrumental support cluster
(the most important factor) explained 19.2 percent of the item variance,
while the other four major factors of affective support, political efficacy,
reform assessment, and democratic values explained 9.8, 7.1, 6.8, and 5.7
percent of the variance, respectively. These five clusters constitute the
focus for this analysis of attitude congruence and constraint.
The remaining nine items, outside of the five major factors, loaded on
five additional factors that together accounted for only about 10 percent
of the item variance (from a low of 1.1 percent to a high of 2.5 percent).
Due to their low percentage of variance explanation, these nine items were
excluded in this analysis.
The five clusters of questions, we believe, capture the subjective orien-
tations to some of the most salient aspects of sociopolitical reality in con-
temporary China. The instrumental support cluster includes eight items
6. Rather than matching each member of political elites with his or her constituents, Miller,
Hesli, and Reisinger (1995, 1997) and Reisinger et al. (1996) also made a comparison of
the entire set of elites and the entire set of ordinary citizens of the same "geographical
location of their residence" when they studied belief congruence or/and constraint in post-
Soviet societies. However, it should be noted that, unlike the elites in most previous studies
(e.g., Converse and Pierce 1986; Jennings 1992; Miller, Hesli, and Reisinger 1995, 1997),
who tend to have higher positions and come from larger geographical bases (national or
regional), the CCP cadres in our study are local political elites who do not have direct
influence on public affairs at national level and yet have more frequent contacts with their
constituents.
7. Converse (1964) and Jennings (1992) once applied such an approach to the study of
attitude/belief constraint. They divided all possible questions into subsets on the basis of
face validity (Converse 1964, p. 229; Jennings 1992, p. 425).
Mass and Elite Orientations in China 199
Table 1. Factor Analysis of All Attitudinal Items in the
1997 Beijing Survey
Instrumental Affective Political Reform Democratic
Support Support Efficacy Assessment Value
Item (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10)
Q12.C .77
Q12.I .74
Q12.H .66
Q12.K .65 .27 .26
Q12.B .63 .30 .33
Q12.D .62
Q12.F .58 .38
Q12.E .56 -.36 .33
Q20.G .76
Q20.H .74
Q20.E .74 .29
Q20.F .72 -.27
Q20.I .28 .67
Q20.M .58
Q21.N .77
Q21.S .69
Q21.0 .65
Q21.P .53 .42
Q20.A .69
Q20.B .28 .66
Q20.D .59
Q20.L -.25 .68
Q20.K .66
Q20.J .29 .34 .52
Q14. .81
Q13. .73
Q12.A .28 .72
Q12.J .35 .29 .39 -.26
Q20.Q -.74
Q20.R .67 .29
Ql l. .70
Q9.
.69
Q10. .77
SOURCE.-The 1997 Beijing Survey.
NOTE.-Figures in this table are factor loadings of .25 or larger from the varimax ro-
tated matrix for all factors with eighenvalues greater than 1.0.
200 jie Chen
linked to public policy areas: minimizing the gap between rich and poor,
combating pollution, providing welfare services to the needy, fighting of-
ficial corruption, providing job security, improving housing conditions,
providing adequate medical care for all, and maintaining order. Our pre-
survey interviews indicate widespread interest in each of these policy
areas. In other words, all these items collectively measure the overall eval-
uations of and support for government policies.
The affective support cluster contains six questions referring to the
"diffused or generalized attachments" (Macridis and Burg 1991, p. 8)
the respondents have for the political regime: its values and norms and
its political institutions. Because these attachments or evaluations are all
vital to the very survival of any type of regime, they are together consid-
ered an indicator of regime legitimacy (e.g., Easton 1975; Miller 1993).
This cluster of questions, therefore, distinguishes those who approve of
the current political system from those who do not.
The political efficacy cluster encompasses four questions referring to
"the feeling that individual political action does have, or can have, an
impact upon the political process" (Campbell, Gurin, and Miller 1954,
p. 187). It has been argued that such feeling motivates people to pay atten-
tion to and participate in politics and public affairs (e.g., Nathan and Shi
1993, Jennings 1997). Conversely, the absence of such a feeling of effi-
cacy evokes political apathy and withdrawal (Chen 1997).
The reform assessment cluster (composed of three questions) reflects
respondents' satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the overall effects of post-
Mao reforms on their material life and political status, and their prediction
of the future of the reforms. These questions clearly differentiate those
who have perceived themselves as beneficiaries of the reforms from those
who have not and, therefore, those who are likely to support reforms from
those who are not.
Finally, the questions in the democratic value cluster capture respon-
dents' attitudes toward three democratic principles: competitive elections
of government officials by the population, equal protection and rights for
all people regardless of their political views, and the existence of the inde-
pendent news media with the freedom to expose and criticize government
wrongdoing. These principles, among others, are critical to the emergence
as well as the survival of a democratic system in any society (e.g., Chen
and Zhong 1998; Gibson and Duch 1993). Therefore, those favoring de-
mocratization are more likely to support these principles, while those sup-
porting an authoritarian rule are less inclined to endorse these values.
In sum, these five clusters of 24 questions together capture respondents'
subjective orientations toward some of the most salient aspects of socio-
political life in contemporary China. These questions thus provide a broad
empirical basis for our comparison of mass and elite subjective value
systems.
Mass and Elite Orientations in China 201
Congruence between Mass and Elite Subjective
Orientations
How similar or different should we expect elite and mass subjective orien-
tations to be in today's China? There are, as mentioned above, almost no
survey-based empirical studies dealing with value congruence between
ordinary people and political elites.8 As a result, the expectations about
mass-elite belief congruence in this study are based mainly on some theo-
retical analyses relevant to this subject.
First, we expect that local political elites, or CCP cadres, are more sup-
portive of major government policies than the mass public. The important
reason for this expectation comes from the unique policy making and
implementation system that is still characterized as a "top-down" process
in China. In this process, while the central (or national) Party elites make
major policies, the local cadres can make "necessary adjustments" (as
local policies) when implementing the major policies (Shi 1997, p. 106).
Therefore, the local cadres are better situated to make the current policies
fit their needs or policy interpretations (e.g., Brugger and Reglar 1994;
Jennings 1997; Pei 1994, chap. 3) and hence tend to have more positive
evaluations of the policies (i.e., higher scores on the instrumental support
items) than do ordinary citizens.
Second, we anticipate that local elites in our sample are more supportive
of the current political system. It is quite obvious that, because of the
CCP's unchallengeable ruling position in the current political regime, its
cadres still have many kinds of privileges that ordinary citizens do not
enjoy, such as "unusual access to information and influential individ-
uals" and more opportunities for "working the system" (Jennings 1997,
p. 267). In other words, the CCP cadres are definitely the greatest bene-
ficiaries of the current political system. Thus, they should score higher
on the affective support items than the masses.
Third, our expectation about congruence between mass and elite politi-
cal efficacy is ambivalent: elite political efficacy could be higher or lower
than mass efficacy. There are at least two important contending views that
can be drawn from previous studies and field evidence. One is that CCP
local cadres are less efficacious, since they still operate within a Leninist
framework that emphasizes internal discipline and hierarchy, instead of
a "sense of individual influence" (e.g., Zang 1993). This view seems to
be supported by the numerous speeches made by the CCP top leadership
stressing party discipline and harmony (e.g., Jiang 1998). The other view
is that the local cadres may have a stronger sense of individual influence
because they can make local policies and influence the implementation
8. An exception to this is Manion's (1996) study of mass-elite attitude congruence in rural
China.
202 jie Chen
of central policies due to the increasing autonomy that local governments
and production units have gained since reform (e.g., Goldstein 1994, 274;
Lieberthal and Oksenberg 1988).
Fourth, we expect that political elites tend to give a more positive as-
sessment of the reforms as a whole than most ordinary people do. In post-
Mao China, all major reform programs have been carried out through the
party-state hierarchy in a top-down manner. Although the local cadres do
not have much say in initiating major reform policies, they do have privi-
leges, which ordinary citizens do not enjoy, such as being better informed
of the intents and prospects of reforms (e.g., via "central documents" or
zhongyang weijian)
and
using
their discretion
(though limited)
to "ad-
just" and implement specific reform policies. As a result, local cadres are
better situated to benefit most from these party-led reforms (e.g., Jennings,
1997; Pei 1994).
Finally, we expect that political elites may be less democratic than, or
just as democratic as, ordinary people may be. On the one hand, according
to some China analysts, local cadres could be less democratic because
they operate, as mentioned above, in a nondemocratic party system (i.e.,
a Leninist system) and have been constantly bombarded with authoritarian
propaganda from the central party organ. On the other hand, according
to another group of analysts, cadres' attitudes toward democratic values
could be quite similar to ordinary citizens' attitudes, given that currently
most cadres are younger, better educated, and more "technocratic" than
old-generation cadres, and hence much less averse to the idea of democra-
tization (e.g., Cheng and White 1990; Goldstein 1994, pp. 716-17; Lee
1991; Pei 1994, chaps. 2-3).
To test these expectations against the empirical evidence collected in
our survey, we compare the means of mass and elite attitude indices that
are computed from the measures in each of the five substantive clusters.9
Figure 1 presents the results of the comparison.10
Elites were only slightly more supportive of current, major government
policies than were ordinary people, and the difference between their evalu-
ations was not significant (at the .05 level). Contrary to our earlier expecta-
tion, this result implies that there was quite a high degree of elite-mass
congruence on the issue of instrumental support. A possible reason for
9. We formed two additive indices (one for mass, the other for elite) for each of the five
major factors by adding the values of all items in each cluster together. Then we rescaled
all the indices so that the range of values for each index was 1-4. The same method was
also used in an analysis by Miller, Hesli, and Reisinger (1995, p. 14).
10. In the meantime, following the same procedure as used for the comparison of elite
and mass attitudes (see note 9), we also compared the means of attitude indices of two
subgroups within the elites (juji and chuji cadres in one group and keji cadres in another)
in all five attitudinal categories. The results (not presented in this article) indicated that
the attitude index means of these two groups are not significantly different in any one of
the five categories (at the .05 level), and that the means of keji cadres were much closer
to those of juji/chuji cadres than to the means of the total masses.
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204 Jie Chen
such an unexpected result could be that urban cadres had much less discre-
tion than expected to manipulate major policies in favor of their own
interests as central government regulations/legislations became increas-
ingly extensive and pervasive (e.g., see Tanner 1994). Therefore, cadres
no longer felt the impacts of major policies significantly differently from
ordinary people.
In terms of the affective support cluster, as we expected, elites were
significantly (at the .001 level) more supportive of the current regime's
norms and institutions than were ordinary people. Along with the above-
mentioned finding, this result can be understood to mean that, although
the two sets of political actors felt similar effects of specific government
policies on their personal lives, cadres still had a higher degree of emo-
tional and ideological attachment for the current Communist regime. It
appears that the constant campaigns by the CCP central leadership to pro-
mote its ideologies had made a difference among the local cadres (see
Jiang 1998).
As for the questions regarding political efficacy, we found that elites
and masses were not significantly different (at the .05 level) in their sense
of the individual influence on public affairs, although the masses scored
slightly higher than the elites. This result may prove that the two compet-
ing views, mentioned above, were both correct: on the one hand, urban
cadres felt powerless when facing the formidable party hierarchy; on the
other, they felt a bit more powerful when dealing with ordinary people
under their direct control (Shi 1997). Yet, a mix of these two mentalities
together produced a certain level of efficacy among the local cadres, which
converged to some extent with the level of efficacy among the masses.
In terms of the cluster of items dealing with reform assessment, we
found that urban cadres registered a significantly (at the .001 level) more
positive evaluation of post-Mao reforms as a whole than did the ordinary
people. This result seems to confirm our earlier expectation. And it may
further imply that given the current direction and speed of reform, local
cadres will continue to be the stronger supporters of the reform programs
initiated by the central authority.
Finally, we found that local elites were significantly (at the .001 level)
less supportive of some major democratic principles than were ordinary
people. This finding apparently confirms one of the competing arguments
mentioned above, that CCP cadres are less democratically oriented be-
cause of the authoritarian influence from the party's organizational system
and its ideological propaganda.
In sum, our findings portray a mixed picture of congruence between
mass and elite subjective orientations toward five major clusters of socio-
political issues. Apparently, both groups shared very similar views on
government policy performance and the role of the individual in public
affairs and politics. Yet, there were some controversies, or at least uneasi-
Mass and Elite Orientations in China 205
ness, between the two groups over the issues of regime legitimacy, reform
assessment, and potential democratization. Can the political elites resolve
these controversies by convincing a majority of ordinary people that the
current political system is worth as much support as the elites believe?
And can the elites persuade the masses that reform is equally beneficial
to all, and that democratization should be at least delayed? These ques-
tions, as we discussed above, can be better answered by comparing the
levels of attitudinal constraint among the elites and masses.
Levels of Attitude Constraint among Elites
and Masses
So far there have been no empirical studies comparing,the levels of atti-
tude constraint, or consistency, among political elites and the masses in
contemporary China. But there have been such studies in some well-
established democratic systems and in post-Soviet societies, although, as
some analysts point out (Jennings 1992; Miller, Hesli, and Reisinger
1995), the number of these studies is still very small. Our expectations
about attitude constraint among these two sets of political actors, there-
fore, are mainly derived from those studies in other systems.
There seem to be at least three major areas of consensus in these studies.
First, they have all found that the level of attitude constraint among elites,
measured by average interitem correlations, is distinctly higher than that
among the masses as a whole. Some analysts of these studies (Converse
and Pierce 1986; Granberg and Holmberg 1988; Jennings 1992) argue
that the higher level of attitude consistency among elites results from their
constant contemplation and articulation of public policies and social goals,
whereas the lower level of constraint among ordinary people as a whole
is attributable to their lack of opportunities (relative to the elites) to engage
in such activities. Second, most of these studies agree that within the mass
public, attitudes and beliefs should be more consistent among the citizens
who are most actively involved in politics and public affairs than among
those who are not. This is because a higher frequency of involvement in
politics or public affairs (instead of formal party or government positions)
provides this segment of the public with more opportunities to be familiar
with and articulate sociopolitical issues, which helps foster more consis-
tent attitudes. And, finally, they have suggested that the levels of attitude
constraint on more salient and personally relevant issues (such as regime
legitimacy and specific public policies related to people's daily lives) tend
to be higher than those on abstract and complex issues (such as foreign
policy and democratic principles) (e.g., see Jennings 1992; Miller, Hesli,
and Reisinger 1995).
To test these three hypotheses, following the steps of the previous stud-
206 jie Chen
ies (e.g., Granberg and Holmberg 1988; Jennings 1992; Miller, Hesli, and
Reisinger 1995), we computed the average interitem correlation for each
of the five major clusters for the total elites, the total masses, and the most
active citizens.11 The results are presented in figure 2.
In general, the empirical evidence presented in figure 2 confirms only
some of our expectations, while contradicting others. First, in terms of
the difference between the levels of constraint among the elite and the
masses as a whole, only for the instrumental support and affective support
clusters was it true that the level of attitude consistency among elites was
distinctly higher than that of the general public. For the other three sub-
stantive clusters, the levels of attitude consistency among the two groups
were almost the same (only .01 or .02 difference for each cluster). In other
words, relative to the masses, the level of elite attitude constraint was
considerably lower than expected.
These findings bring both good and bad news to the ruling elite. The
good news is that since both groups share the same (or very similar) levels
of attitude constraint regarding the role of the individual, reform assess-
ment, and democratic principles, the elites should have little difficulty
in convincing ordinary people that central-leadership guidance is more
important than individual initiatives, that reform is or will be good for
everyone, and that democratization-especially by the Western stan-
dards-should be delayed at least for the present. But the bad news is that,
because elites and ordinary people construct their values about regime
legitimacy quite differently, elites will have a hard time persuading the
public that the current authoritarian regime merits strong support. In addi-
tion, although both elites and ordinary people now equally support major
government policies (as fig. 1 indicated), the local elites may have a seri-
ous problem justifying major government policies if policy performance
declines (e.g., a higher inflation rate, a higher unemployment rate, or a
climbing crime rate). This is because there is a distinct gap between the
way elites and ordinary people organize their evaluations of government
policy performance (see fig. 2).
Second, the empirical evidence confirms the anticipated gap between
the levels of attitude constraint among the most active citizens and among
the rest of the public on all five substantive issue areas, although the gap
was quite narrow for the clusters of political efficacy, reform assessment,
and democratic principles. On the same three issue clusters, surprisingly,
11. We also computed and compared the average interitem correlations for each of the
five attitude clusters for juji and chuji cadres in one group and keji cadres in another. The
results (not presented in this article) did not show any remarkable distinction between
the two groups in the levels of attitude consistency for any one of the five attitudinal
clusters: the minuscule differences of the average interitem correlations between the two
groups for the five clusters ranged from .0012 to .0028. Again, these results apparently
suggested that keji cadres did belong to the same category of the "elites" defined in this
study.
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the most active citizens had even higher (if not much higher) levels of
attitude constraint than did the elites. This is, we believe, because the
level of elite attitude constraint was far too low, which will be explained
below. If the active citizens presumably play an "interstitial role" be-
tween the elites and the mass public in communication, as Jennings sug-
gests (1992, p. 421), then they might do so in two major issue areas
instrumental support and affective support-since they scored between
the general public and the elite in these two areas.
Third, as we expected, the evidence confirms that, on all sociopolitical
issues, both masses and elites tended to have more consistent views on
the issues that were most relevant to their personal lives (i.e., government
policy performance) and most salient to the society (i.e., regime legiti-
macy). This finding further confirms the popular observations that, since
the reform, people of all ranks in China have increasingly become in-
volved in various activities to improve their personal lives, and thus are
attentive to public policies affecting their pocketbooks and their jobs (e.g.,
Kristof and Wudunn 1994). Our findings also echo results from recent
empirical studies in China indicating that many urban residents, especially
in such a large city as Beijing, were frequently involved in discussions
on government leadership in private or sometimes even in public (e.g.,
Chen 1997). Both masses and elites, however, had relatively low levels
of attitude constraint on democratic values, overall assessment of reform,
and political efficacy. This may suggest that these three issues were not
as important or relevant as the issues of government policy performance
and regime legitimacy among both the general public and the elites.
Finally, as we expected, the level of attitude constraint among the local
cadres was higher than (though quite close to) that among the most active
citizens on instrumental support and affective support. However, the elites
were less consistent than the most active citizens in thinking about issues
concerning reform assessment, while the thinking of both groups was sim-
ilarly consistent about the items regarding political efficacy and demo-
cratic principles.12 This finding suggests that the level of attitude constraint
among cadres was too low even to catch up with that among the most
active citizens for at least one issue area.
In order to grasp the above-mentioned findings in a larger context, we
compare our findings in a summary manner with those from other studies.
Table 2 presents the levels of attitude consistency (the averaged interitem
correlations) across all 24 items for the elites, the total mass public, and
the most active citizens in Beijing, on the one hand, and comparable fig-
ures from studies of Western and post-Soviet societies, on the other.
12. Similarly, Miller, Hesli, and Reisinger (1995, pp. 20-21) also found low levels of
attitude constraint among both masses and elites for the questions regarding democratic
principles in post-Soviet societies.
Mass and Elite Orientations in China 209
Table 2. Comparison of the Levels of Attitude Constraint (Average
Interitem Correlations) among the Elite, the Mass, and the Most Active
Citizens
Most
Total Total Active
Place Elite Mass Citizen
Beijing, China (1997) .37 .28 .33
Russia (Miller et al. 1995, p. 21) .39 .26 .34
Ukraine (Miller et al. 1995, p. 21) .38 .24 .35
United States:
Converse (1964, p. 229) .53 .23 .29
Jennings (1992, p. 426) .46 .12 .22
France (Converse and Peirce 1986, p. 240) .61 .27 .33
Sweden (Granberg and Holmberg 1988, p. 73) .72 .27 .49
NOTE.-The figures for all other countries were also presented in the study by
Miller, Helsi, and Reisinger (1995, p. 21).
In general, the levels of aggregated attitude constraint among the three
groups in Beijing are much more similar to those in the two post-Soviet
societies (Russia and Ukraine) than to those in the Western societies (see
table 2). As with the figures for the post-Soviet societies, our findings are
similar to the studies in the Western societies only in terms of a distinct
difference between the total mass public and elite, but do not show a
significant distinction between the elite and the most active citizens. It is
also worth noting that the difference between the consistency levels for
the total mass public and the most active citizens, and the absolute con-
straint levels for these two groups in our sample, are quite comparable to
most of the data from the previous studies presented in table 2. In other
words, the general mass public and the most active citizens in Beijing
were just as consistent as their counterparts in the other countries in their
attitudes toward major sociopolitical issues."3 All these findings echo the
observations in post-Soviet societies (Miller, Hesli, and Reisinger 1995,
pp. 19-22) that the level of attitude constraint among elites was too low
to distinguish itself, in a significant way, from that among the most active
citizens. The question as to why the level of elite attitude consistency was
so low will be addressed in the next section.
13. Actually, the Beijing public scored highest in the group. This was probably due to its
unique location, the capital city.
210 Jie Chen
A Possible Explanation for Relatively Inconsistent
Attitudes among the Elites
In studies of Western and post-Soviet societies, one major difference
stands out. The findings from the West clearly indicate, as mentioned
above, that the level of attitude constraint among elites is remarkably
higher, not only than that among the masses as a whole, but also than
that among the most politically active ordinary citizens (e.g., Converse
and Pierce 1986; Granberg and Holmberg 1988; Jennings 1992). How-
ever, findings from the study of post-Soviet societies (i.e., Russia and
Ukraine) demonstrate that the levels of constraint both among the elites
and among the most active citizens were very similar (Miller, Hesli, and
Reisinger 1995). The reason for the similarity between the mass and elite
levels of attitude constraint is that "the level of elite constraint appears
unexpectedly low" and not that "attitude consistency among the most
active [citizens] is exceptionally high" (Miller, Hesli, and Reisinger 1995,
p. 20). Moreover, a study of post-Soviet societies has suggested that
the low level of elite attitude constraint is due mainly to the absence of
cohesive institutions (e.g., strong political parties) that could promote
consistent attitudes among political elites (Miller, Hesli, and Reisinger
1995, p. 23).
The local cadres in our sample were definitely quite different from post-
Soviet elites in terms of their political and ideological preferences. None-
theless, just like the post-Soviet elites portrayed in the study by Miller,
Hesli, and Reisinger (1995), Chinese local cadres may have similarly
lacked the institutional arrangements that normally help foster consistency
of their positions on major political issues. According to some analysts
(e.g., Chen and Deng 1995, chap. 3; Chi 1991; Lieberthal 1995, chap. 7;
Pei 1998), the party organizations at local levels have experienced "orga-
nizational erosion" (Chen and Gong 1997, p. 148) since the post-Mao
reforms. One of the most noticeable symptoms of this erosion is that fewer
and fewer CCP members, including cadres, bother to attend routine party
meetings that are considered the most important part of the so-called party
"organizational life" (e.g., Chi 1991; Lieberthal 1995, chap. 7). The offi-
cially prescribed purposes of these meetings are "creating consensus
(tongyi sixiang) among party members [including party cadres], reaching
decisions for the implementation of instructions from above," and deep-
ening understanding of the party line and political situations (Chen and
Deng 1995, p. 56). All these functions of routine party meetings should
presumably help party members and cadres cultivate rather consistent be-
liefs and values about politics and public affairs. Because the cadres have
attended the meetings much less frequently since the reform, the level of
attitude consistency among them, just like the post-Soviet elites, was not
remarkably different from that among the most active citizens. In other
Mass and Elite Orientations in China 211
Table 3. Attitudinal Constraint among Political Elites by Party
Meeting Attendance
Party Instrumental Affective Political Reform Democratic 24 Items
Meeting Support Support Efficacy Assessment Value Combined
Attendance .51 .48 .29 .45 .19 .48
Absence .26 .32 .18 .30 .33 .27
SOURCE.-The 1997 Beijing Survey.
NOTE.-The entries are average interitem correlations. In our sample, 62 percent of
the CCP cadres reported their attendance at the party meetings, while 37 percent of
them registered their absence from the meetings and about 1 percent did not remember
their attendance or absence.
words, at least one of major reasons for the relatively low attitude con-
straint among local elites in our sample is thought to be their low atten-
dance at routine party meetings. Therefore, we expect that the absence
from routine party meetings (as the major part of the party "organizational
life") during a certain period of time is negatively associated with the
level of cadres' attitudinal consistency.
To test this expectation, we compare the levels of attitude constraint
among party elites who attended with those who were absent from routine
party meeting(s) during the latest 3-month period before the survey. The
results are presented in table 3.
Overall (with only one exception), the results of the comparison con-
firm that absence from routine party meetings did have a significantly
(at the .05 level) negative impact on levels of attitude constraint. Specifi-
cally, the elite respondents who had not attended routine party meetings
within the past 3 months showed significantly lower levels of attitude
constraint on four of the five substantive issue clusters and the 24 items
combined than did those who had attended. The only exception to this
overwhelming trend was that those who attended party meetings exhibited
a lower level of attitude consistency on the questions concerning demo-
cratic principles. A possible explanation for this exception is that the con-
cept of "socialist democracy" that has been promoted but never clearly
defined by the CCP central leadership has so far caused noticeable confu-
sion among the cadres. As Shi notes it, the term "socialist democracy"
is so elusive that people can have quite contrary interpretations of it (1997,
p. 37). Thus, attending party meetings may not help those cadres foster
any consistent views on "democratic principles (or values)"; on the con-
trary, party meetings could have made the cadres more confused about
these principles because the message from the central party leadership on
this subject was confusing.
212 Jie Chen
In most cases, however, the results presented in table 3 have confirmed
our proposed explanation that the relatively low level of attitude constraint
among local political elites is caused, at least in part, by the relaxation of
the party "organizational life" that normally promotes consistent views
among the party cadres. Due to the rapid growth of the private economy
and the dramatic restructuring of state-owned enterprises, the party's
grassroots organizations will inevitably further deteriorate and become
more irrelevant socially and politically (Chen and Gong 1997; Pei 1994,
chap. 3). As the result of further organizational decay, the level of attitude
consistency among the cadres could become even lower in the near future.
Conclusion
By examining a set of subjective-orientation items responded to by elites
and masses sampled from one locale, we have been able to shed some
light on both attitude congruence and belief constraint among the two sets
of political actors in an urban setting of the People's Republic of China.
Since the findings presented above are based on a local survey, we do
not intend to generalize these findings to the rest of the country. Nonethe-
less, we do believe that the findings from this study and their implications
are theoretically and empirically heuristic for understanding how the
masses and the elites may interconnect and interact on some important
sociopolitical issues in this rapidly changing country, especially in its ur-
ban areas. Table 4 highlights the major findings and their tentative but
important implications.
First of all, in terms of attitude congruence, we have found that, al-
though the elites and masses were currently in harmony when talking
about government policy performance and the role of the individual in
public affairs, they did have significantly different views on regime legiti-
macy, the overall impact of reform on society, and democratic principles.
These results apparently suggest that there were still ongoing conflicts
between the elites and ordinary people over these three issue areas (i.e.,
regime legitimacy, democratization, and reform assessment).
Second, based on our investigation of attitude constraint, we have found
that elites and masses constructed their views on the issues concerning
government policy performance and regime legitimacy quite differently,
while they organized their positions on the issues regarding the role of the
individual, the impact of reform, and democratic values quite similarly.
According to the theory of attitude constraint developed in previous stud-
ies (e.g., Jennings 1992; Miller, Hesli, and Reisinger 1995), these findings
could have at least two important implications. One is that the two sets
of political actors will be able to resolve their existing or potential conflicts
over the issues of individual role, overall reform assessment, and democ-
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214 Jie Chen
ratization since the structures of their attitudes toward these issues are
quite similar. The other implication, however, is that the two groups might
have serious difficulties in trying to resolve their existing or potential con-
troversies over government policy performance and the CCP's right to
rule because of the significant difference between the internal organiza-
tions of their views on these two issues.
Finally, the above-mentioned findings and implications also indicate
both the weakness and strength of CCP rule in post-Deng China. On the
one hand, the lack of consensus with the masses on the issue of regime
legitimacy and the lack of ability to reach such a consensus (due to differ-
ent constraint levels) constitute the weakest point of CCP governance. On
the other hand, the existence of agreement with the masses on the issue
of the individual's role in politics and the absence of communication barri-
ers (due to the similar constraint levels) in this issue area represent the
strength of CCP rule. If sociopolitical stability refers to social harmony
under the CCP one-party rule, as the top party leadership defined it (see
Jiang 1998), the most challenging, if not impossible, task for the ruling
party and its cadres is to reach a general agreement with the masses on
the legitimacy of such one-party rule. And the most valuable asset the
CCP has for buttressing its authoritarian rule is the consensus between
the elites and the masses that the individual should not play a very impor-
tant role in public affairs and should obey authority. In short, the most
consensual part of the interaction or "dialogue" between the elites and
the masses in urban China is more likely to be based on their common
understanding of the importance of central authority instead of their af-
fective support for, or "emotional attachment" to, the current official ide-
ology and political system.
In conclusion, we emphasize the need for more extensive and inclusive
studies comparing the beliefs and values of the masses and the elites at
various levels and in different settings in this rapidly changing society.
As China enters the next millennium, with its more modernized economy
and society, the political attitudes and the structures of such attitudes
among the two sets of political actors will almost certainly experience
more dramatic changes, and such changes will eventually affect the future
of this dynamic country.
Appendix A
Survey and Sample
This analysis is based on a public opinion
1997 in cooperation with the Public Opir
Mass and Elite Orientations in China 215
ple's University of China. Our sample site has two salient features. First, as the
capital of the country, Beijing is viewed as the political center in contemporary
China. Significant political events-such as the Cultural Revolution and the 1989
Democracy Movement-started in Beijing. Second, Beijing is the cultural center
of China and has the most developed educational system in the country. As a
result, Beijing residents tend to be better informed about political events and
issues than do people elsewhere, especially those in remote and rural areas.
The data for this study were obtained from a representative sample of 720
adults (including both ordinary people and local political elites) in the Beijing
region. This probability sample was derived from a multistage sampling process.
Eight urban districts (qu), including six regular-size districts and two large-size
districts, were randomly chosen at the first stage of sampling. From each of the six
regular-size districts, four residential neighborhoods (juweihui) were randomly
chosen; from each of the two large-size districts, six residential neighborhoods
were randomly chosen at the second stage of sampling. This process yielded 36
residential neighborhoods. Then 20 households were randomly chosen from each
of the 36 residential neighborhoods at the third stage, producing a total of 720
households. At the final stage, one individual was chosen randomly from each
of the 720 households as the interviewee. Of the 720 questionnaires delivered
(by our field interviewers), 700 were brought back. Of these returned question-
naires, we excluded six from our data set because they did not contain information
about respondents' sociopolitical status (e.g., cadre vs. noncadre and/or party vs.
nonparty member). Thus, the adjusted response rate of the survey was 96 percent
(694), which was very high by Western standards, but quite similar to the response
rates from other surveys conducted in China (see Chen and Zhong 1998; Nathan
and Shi 1993). Among our respondents, 68 were local CCP cadres (ganbu), repre-
senting all three major administrative ranks at the local level-16 at the bureau
level, 24 at the department level, and 28 at the section level. They were from the
municipal or district governmental agencies/organizations."4
The underlying demographic characteristics of the sample approximated those
of the 1996 government census and an earlier survey conducted in Beijing. About
equal numbers of men (51.4 percent) and women (48.6 percent) appeared in the
sample. Similarly, the 1996 government census showed that males accounted for
50.7 percent of the population in Beijing (see Beijing Municipal Statistical Bureau
1997). The respondents in our sample represented all age groups, ranging from
18 to 76 years of age (with an average age of 42): 18-25, 11.3 percent; 26-35,
22.1 percent; 36-45, 24.7 percent; 46-55, 16.3 percent; 56-65, 18.4 percent;
and 65 and over, 7.2 percent. The statistics of the 1996 census showed the age
distributions of the Beijing population as follows: 18-25, 14.1 percent; 26-35,
25.6 percent; 36-45, 21.9 percent; 46-55, 13.2 percent; 56-65, 15.7 percent; and
65 and over 9.5 percent (see Beijing Municipal Statistical Bureau 1997). The
average difference between our sample and the census in all age groups was 2.9
percent. The education levels of the respondents ranged from elementary educa-
tion (13 percent), middle school education (24 percent), high school education
(48 percent), to college degree (15 percent). Although there were no comparable
14. For the election, appointment, and removal of these cadres, see note 5.
216 Jie Chen
statistics available in the 1996 census (or any government censuses in the past
several years),15 the education levels in this sample approximated those in an
earlier representative survey conducted in Beijing in 1995 (elementary education,
12 percent; middle and high school education, 76 percent; and college degree,
12 percent) (see Chen and Zhong 1998). Overall, this sample yielded a sampling
error of less than 4 percent.
Care was taken to minimize linguistic misinterpretations and respondent ef-
fects. The original wording of our questionnaire (which was first designed in the
United States) was reviewed by the PORI to fit the Chinese social and cultural
context and to provide for seamless translation from English to Chinese. College
students of journalism and sociology were employed as field interviewers; they
were trained by project members in field interviewing techniques before the actual
survey was carried out. Respondents were offered confidentiality and encouraged
to provide answers that best captured their true feelings. In general, circumstantial
evidence suggests that Chinese respondents feel much freer to express their views
in such a public opinion survey as ours than is typically assumed in the West.
This is in part because, since the reform, the Chinese government has not effec-
tively censored or regulated public opinion research due to weakened party con-
trol at the grassroots level and the lack of any consistent official rules governing
survey research.16
Appendix B
The Five Clusters of the 24 Items Revealed
by the Factor Analysis
INSTRUMENTAL SUPPORT CLUSTER
Q12: Please rate government policy performance in the following areas, using a
scale of 1-5 (1 = very poor; 2 = poor; 3 = good; 4 = very good; 5 = excellent).
Q12.C. Narrowing the gap between rich and poor;
Q12.I. Combating pollution;
Q12.H. Providing adequate welfare to the needy;
Q12.K. Eliminating corruption;
Q12.B. Providing job security;
Q12.D. Improving housing conditions;
Q12.F. Providing adequate medical care for all;
Q12.E. Maintaining social order.
15. The statistics (close but not comparable to our measures of education level) we could
find from all the recent government censuses were only the figures of "graduates by level
and type of school" and "student enrollment in institutions of higher education" in each
year (see, e.g., Beijing Municipal Statistical Bureau 1997, 1998; State Statistical Bureau
1995).
16. For example, even some journalists from Taiwan were surprised by the fact that when
interviewed by the media, average Chinese people could express opinions that contradicted
official propaganda. See "Many Don't Want to See a Fight between Mainland and Tai-
wan" (1996, p. A3).
Mass and Elite Orientations in China 217
AFFECTIVE SUPPORT CLUSTER
Do you agree with the following statements? (1 = strongly disagree; 2 = dis-
agree; 3 = agree; 4 = strongly agree).
Q20.G. I respect our governmental organs.
Q20.H. In our country citizens' basic rights ate well protected.
Q20.E. I am proud to live in socialist China.
Q20.F. Supporting our political system is my obligation.
Q20.I. The judicial system is basically fair in our country.
Q20.M. What I value is the same as what our government has promoted.
POLITICAL EFFICACY CLUSTER
Do you agree with the following statements? (1 =strongly agree; 2
=
agree;
3 =
disagree; 4 = strongly disagree).
Q21.N. The well-being of the country is mainly dependent upon state lead-
ers, not the individuals.
Q21.S. In general I don't think I should argue with the authorities even
though I believe my idea is correct.
Q21.0. Suggestions and complaints made by the individuals to the govern-
ment are often ignored.
Q21.P. Currently China doesn't need political changes.
REFORM ASSESSMENT CLUSTER
Do you agree with the following statements? (1
=
strongly disagree; 2 = dis-
agree; 3
=
agree; 4 =
strongly agree).
Q26.A.Since the reforms in 1978, my living conditions have noticeably im-
proved.
Q26.B. Since the reforms in 1978, my social status has noticeably im-
proved.
Q26.D. It is unlikely that China will experience sociopolitical turmoil in the
next 10 years.
DEMOCRATIC VALUE CLUSTER
Do you agree with the following statements? (1
=
strongly disagree; 2
=
dis-
agree; 3
=
agree; 4
=
strongly agree).
Q20.L. Elections to governmental positions should be conducted in such a
way that there is more than one candidate for each post.
Q20.K. The media should be free to expose government wrongdoings such
as corruption.
Q20.J. Regardless of one's political belief, he or she is entitled to the same
rights and protections as anyone else.
218 Jie Chen
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