What Chinese people say
Gao Qian (30), Saleswoman, Hebei province“There is too much unfairness here, and the government controls everything. I have to say we need more human rights. I don’t feel disappointed with the current leadership, but there’s nothing to be very cheerful about either.
“In China, leadership is an issue for someone else, not the business of people like me, so I don’t need to care about it that much. I have no say in how the leadership works. It’s not like the US, as we see on TV, where their future president has to debate for the right to rule the country. Here the leadership’s main concern is not the interests of the people. I hope there are more changes in people’s lives, an improvement in their livelihoods and education. The nation needs long-term, normal education. I hope at least they can solve the problem of food security – I don’t want to worry about if it is safe to eat and drink every day.”
Guo Gong (46), Artist, Shanxi province
“The thing most needed in this country is supervision of the party, and an independent legal system, but this seems unlikely in a country with one-party rule, so the rules and regulations lack justice and are in the service of the rulers. The current congress was too conservative, and they don’t have the ability to reform. The priority for them was to solidify their ruling position first. Deng Xiaoping was a reformer; if he were here, he would have pushed forward reform, though he did something wrong late in his rule by kicking out those powers as reformers.
“But now without political reform, China’s economy is developing in a twisted way. In the near future we will have problems in GDP growth.
“But to make political reform is not as easy as when it was in the 1980s when the economic reforms started, which started the whole country earning money.
“I hope China can have an independent legal system, even if it is established on a corrupt base. And that we have democratic elections, that other parties have space to develop, to at least monitor the government.
“I have no faith in the leadership and there is no reason for me to have any faith since there is no political transparency, nor in the media, so we don’t know what is going on in the congress. We only can try and work it out by rumours.”
Li Zhiguo (70), Retired architect from Inner Mongolia
“This country’s main problem is that all the laws written on paper stay on paper, but are not implemented. It feels like they are not real. People’s rights are enshrined in the constitution and that needs to be implemented.