The Great Wall of China

New agreement with Chinese General Social Survey

The European Social Survey (ESS) has agreed a formal partnership with the Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS) for the next four years.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in late January 2024, alongside a formal agreement between the ESS and the East Asian Social Survey (EASS) research network, in which the CGSS operates.

The collective agreement was made during a conference held at City, University of London, which was attended by all four organisations in the research network.

Attendees included the Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS), Japanese General Social Survey (JGSS), Korean General Social Survey (KGSS) and Taiwan Social Change Survey (TSCS). 

This agreement with the CGSS will enable a co-operative, knowledge sharing framework, increasing efforts to improve the survey methodology for both organisations.

Both parties agreed to: 

  • Assist in the replication of ESS questionnaire items: occurring through the sharing of ESS question modules ahead of them being publicly available
  • Staff exchange: the ESS will host up to two CGSS researchers at HQ in London and possibly other institutions in Europe
  • Knowledge exchange: exchanging Research and Development initiatives to enhance skills

The CGSS is organised and implemented at the National Survey Research Centre at Renmin University of China, Beijing.

It has been implemented since 2003 and is therefore China’s longest running national comprehensive survey project.

Professor Weidong Wang, Executive Co-Principal Investigator of the CGSS, signed the MoU in January together with the ESS Director, Professor Rory Fitzgerald. 

This partnership comes as a component of continuous initiatives by the ESS to enhance connections with significant global survey projects situated outside of Europe.

Similar agreements have been made by the ESS with other organisations in the EASS network: JGSS in June 2021 and KGSS in February 2023.

ESS questions have previously been replicated by the General Social Survey (GSS, United states), Life in Australia panel (led by the Australian National University) and the South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS).

Data from ESS questions replicated by various major international survey projects are available from the resources section of our website, allowing for comparison of data between European countries with others globally.

When available, data collected by the CGSS will be accessible on our website.

The process of signing a Memorandum of Understanding has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 871063.