Ever since the introduction of the national political programme of “Building a new socialist countryside” (BNSC) in the early 2000s, renewed focus has been cast on how the Chinese government manages the gap between its rural and urban areas in the new millennium. Previous research has mostly studied the social and political consequences of the BNSC initiative without paying particular attention to its effects on public opinion. In this article, we present an analysis of the 2002 and 2008 waves of the mainland China subset of the Asian Barometer. Our results show a significant shift in the perceptions of the rural population in respect to how much impact government policies have on daily life. This shift brings rural perceptions more in line with those of the urban population in 2002. The paper concludes with the implications of our findings for the study of the relations between public opinion and public policy in China.
- Building a new socialist countryside
- rural China
- public opinion and public policy
- CCP regime legitimacy