From Paul French, China Editor, in Shanghai.
As mentioned previously I'm posting a few additional piece of evidence to support my forthcoming China Column in the December issue of Ethical Corporation on whether China 'got' green in 2009. Here's a further piece of interesting evidence from the Lowy Institute in Sydney.
This poll indicates that the environment and climate change are now a top concern of Chinese people followed by the related phenomena of water and food shortages.
I must acknowledge the American journalist and author James Fallows who first posted this information on his blog.
James is also a friend and lived in Beijing and Shanghai for a couple of years reporting on China for The Atlantic.
By way of apology I would heartily recommend anyone looking for a book on the current major issues and state of play in China and its likely future development to pick up a copy of Fallows's book Postcards From Tomorrow Square, a collection of his articles from China for The Atlantic, that is one of the most concise and spot on analyses of China published this year.
I'd also echo Fallows's reservations about survey data from China which tend to reflect the thinking and concerns of the better urbanised, wealthier and urban middle classes who are invariably 'on side' with the Party's agenda rather than surveys of what all China thinks. However, for my purposes the poll is significant.
If the respondents were parroting official views then environment and climate change come top.
If they weren't then they still come top showing that one or another people are more aware and concerned about this issues than previously and put them ahead of issues that receive more propagandist news coverage in China such as separatism and the supposed attempted of America to keep China down.
(Click to enlarge)