Illustration: Liu Rui/GT
I have always had two benchmarks in viewing China. The first one is the aspirations of public, and the ability of the public power (first of all, public authority) to satisfy these aspirations. Objectively speaking, there has always been a gap between the two. The second one is the comparison of problem-solving capabilities and overall development situation between China and foreign countries. Such comparisons help us define the nature of the country’s insufficient ability to meet public aspirations and undertake a more comprehensive assessment of the country’s state of governance.
China highlights the value orientation of putting people first and advocating fairness and justice. This approach raises people’s expectations. When expectations are high, dissatisfaction will also increase. I believe that such dissatisfaction can play a constructive role in spurring the government. What is important is China should ensure we have an increasingly obvious advantage in solving problems compared with the outside world, and perform better in self-improvement. In fact, Chinese people never lack collective intelligence. As long as our country is really making efforts, doing better than most countries and moving forward faster, the Chinese people will give the country a general approval.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a typical example. While the Chinese people have some specific complaints, they have also given high marks for China’s overall performance.
The Chinese people take a high degree of interest in the country’s political agenda such as the CPC Central Committee plenary sessions and the two sessions. They also pay attention to major international events. This helps Chinese people to better understand national governance and to develop collective rationality.
According to my observation, Chinese officials and the public are engaged in a high level of communication and Chinese society is tightly united. There have always been unsatisfied sentiments on the Chinese internet, but they are generally within the normal and safe range. I hope that the government and various active forces online and offline can confirm this. This is very important for our society to maintain a high degree of confidence and achieve overall harmony.
The author is editor-in-chief of the Global Times. [email protected]