Broad public recognition of China’s growing pains notwithstanding, the latest Pew Global Attitudes survey found broad acceptance among the Chinese of their country’s transformation from a socialist to a capitalist society with seven-in-ten saying people are better off in a free market economy, even though this means some may be rich while others are poor. This sentiment is true across demographic groups, and even those in the low-income category believe in the benefits of the free market system. However, the social changes in Chinese society that have accompanied the transformation and growth of the economy get a somewhat mixed review. About seven-in-ten (71%) say they like the pace of modern life, but many worry about vanishing traditions — 59% believe their traditional way of life is getting lost, while just 37% say these traditions remain strong. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.