Since 1979, economic reforms have led to a radical transformation of Chinese society. At the time of the planned economy, individual lives were being taken care of, and the citizens did not have to worry about
their present and future livelihood, over which they did not have much influence anyway. Jobs, accommodation, education and health care were provided by the State or State-related institutions. Besides, society was almost static as social status was quasi-inherited from one generation to another and jointly decided by political factors and the position of the individual in the production system. It was considered, and stated in the Chinese constitution as such, that the People’s Republic of China was ‘based on the alliance of workers and peasants’.