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Study Finds Growing Economic Discontent in China

A couple visit snowy Yuyan Garden, one of the most popular tourist destinations in town, in Shanghai, China, Dec. 15, 2010.

A new survey finds that Chinese are increasingly dissatisfied with their lives and unsure of their government's ability to deal with economic and foreign affairs.

The annual survey by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) found that public satisfaction with jobs, social security and leisure provisions is at its lowest point since 2006, especially in small towns and rural areas. Researchers said the low level of satisfaction results from the growing impact of the global financial crisis.

The survey, known as the Blue Book of China's Society, lists inflation among Chinese people's biggest worries. Prices were 5.1 percent higher in November than they were one year ago.

Researchers at CASS say China is moving swiftly from an agricultural society to an industrial one, as millions of Chinese move from rural areas to urban centers every year in search of better paying jobs.

This is leading to an expanding gap between the rich and the poor, but the researchers say the incomes of rural Chinese will outstrip those of city dwellers this year.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.