World: What Students Believe In

Though China remains one of the most closed societies on earth, two secret polls taken among students at Shanghai's prestigious Fudan University provide an illuminating and perhaps unsettling glimpse into the minds of a small but important segment of the population.

The results of the polls, administered in 1979 and in September of this year by Fudan's federation of students, were briefly posted on the university's bulletin boards, then ordered removed, presumably because they show a striking skepticism about the future. Asked, for example, what they thought of the current leaders' ability to achieve the "Four Modernizations," 78% of the students took...

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