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Part IV, Page 57

Part IV: Domestic Challenges and Values

57. Views on Domestic Issues

Top Issues Facing the Country
US Survey
(US SURVEY) What are the three most important issues facing the U.S. today?
War in Iraq/ Peace/ Foreign policy
Jobs and the economy
Health care/ Insurance/ Prescription drugs
Politics/ Government/ Corruption/ Campaign finance reform
Utility rates/ Gas prices/ Energy consumption
*Percentages total more than 100% as respondents were asked to select the top two responses.
**Only Top 7 Issues Listed. Please see Appendix C for the complete set of responses.
China Survey
(CHINA SURVEY) What are the three most important issues facing China today?
Jobs and the economy
Health care/Insurance
Income inequality/Regional gap
**Only Top 7 Issues Listed. Please see Appendix C for the complete set of responses.

Narrative Analysis

United States:
  • All four samples agree that the top two issues facing Americans today are the war in Iraq/foreign policy, and jobs and the economy. All samples except Congressional staffers rate health care and immigration as the third and fourth issues, respectively. Congressional staffers place more importance on national security (31%) and terrorism (30%) than they do on health care (29%) and immigration (22%).
  • Among subgroups, younger Americans aged 18–29 years old, Democrats, and Independents rate the issues in the same order (war in Iraq/foreign policy; jobs and the economy; health care; immigration), while Republicans rate immigration third, ahead of health care.
  • The general public (35%) and business leaders (40%) rate jobs and economy as the most critical issue facing China, while opinion leaders (38%) see the environment as the most pressing issue. Among the remaining important issues, the general public rates corruption (32%) and Taiwan (22%) as the second and third problems, opinion leaders cite jobs and the economy (36%), corruption (23%) and Taiwan (23%), while business leaders rate the environment as second (36%) and Taiwan as third (30%).
  • 11 percent of opinion leaders cite political reforms or democratization, while almost no general public share this concern. More opinion leaders and business leaders mention the inadequate legal system and fragile financial system as important problems facing China.
  • 18–29-year-old Chinese rank Taiwan, the environment, energy consumption, education, crime and social welfare higher than other age groups. A sizable percentage of 50–60-year-olds see corruption and social security as important issues.
  • People with high and medium levels of education see Taiwan, education, health care, the environment, and income inequality as important issues, higher than those with lower levels of education.
  • People with a high income are more likely to worry about education, health care, the environment and energy, as compared to those in the middle and low-income range. People in the middle-income range are more likely to be concerned about the social security system.
  • 46% of city residents and 51% of town residents regard jobs and the economy as the most critical issues, higher than for rural residents (28%). City residents (23%) and town residents (21%) are more concerned about income inequality than rural residents (10%).