REUTERS - The relative stability and comfort around them as they grew up, plus the steady drip of propaganda, have engendered a deep sense of patriotism in the “Class of 2012”.
They spend little time thinking about politics, though, focusing instead on what they can control.
They are the product of the government bargain with society after the crackdown on the Tiananmen protests in 1989 – that the ruling Communist Party would unshackle the economy and let the people get rich, so long as they steered clear of politics.
Here is a selection of their views on politics.
Qin Lijuan, a senior wealth management consultant, who expressed confidence in President Xi Jinping - popularly known as Xi Dada, or Uncle Xi:
“I understand Xi Dada. He manages the country from the bigger picture. We little citizens just need to comply ... I can accept it.”
“He has created some advantages and achievements on the political front. For instance, we’ve gotten stronger in terms of protecting national sovereignty abroad. When going abroad you can clearly feel the respect of other countries for China. This is a very good beginning. When the state is strong, the people are strong.”
Qi Jing, a township leader for the Communist Youth League:
“It’s so true that today’s China could never have development like this without the Communist Party. I feel I’ve ... found a sense of belonging.”
Wu Qiong, who works in international settlements at a foreign bank:
“I don’t focus too much on state leaders to see if what they do affect my life. Really. I would never say ‘I have an idea’ and then hope our state leaders would go and implement it and help my friends and me to change something. Never ... I should rely on myself to get things done.”
Zheng Yue, an interior designer:
“I don’t care about politics because my job has nothing to do with politics. And also I can’t solve political problems. Even if I cared a lot about it, it’s no use. I can’t change anything ... I feel that they have made China faithless. I don’t know the reason, but that’s what I feel. I think Chinese people have no beliefs, and that’s related to the ruling party.”
Hu Ruixin, computer technician:
“I don’t pay attention. I don’t like politics. I feel it’s too restricted. I like freedom.”
Reporting by the Beijing and Shanghai bureaus; Editing by Philip McClellan