Apparatchiks and academics alike struggle to take China’s pulse
Pollsters have to use roundabout ways to find out what people are thinking
"The party is 'more paranoid' about public opinion than its democratic peers because it lacks elections or a free press for feedback. Now ministries and official media have their own polling units. Universities run state-funded social surveys."
China won’t let independent pollsters conduct big-picture opinion surveys. Benefit to Party: Dissidents remain in the dark about their true strength. Big risk: Party won’t see signs of an unfolding Tiananmen-style explosion. Lessons for all dictatorships.
The 1.4bn-people question – Apparatchiks and academics alike struggle to take China’s pulse