Majority in 14 economically-advanced nations perceive China negatively: Pew survey

Updated: 07 October, 2020 17:03 IST | IANS | New Delhi

The survey was conducted between June 10 and August 3, 2020, among 14,276 adults over the phone in the US, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the UK, Australia, Japan and South Korea

Photo used for representational purpose
Photo used for representational purpose

Majority of the people in the 14 most economically-advanced countries have a negative view of China, especially since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, as per the latest survey of the Pew Research Center.

The survey was conducted between June 10 and August 3, 2020, among 14,276 adults over the phone in the United States (US), Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom (UK), Australia, Japan and South Korea.

"Today, a majority in each of the surveyed countries has an unfavourable opinion of China. And in Australia, the UK, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, the US, South Korea, Spain and Canada, negative views have reached their highest points since the Center began polling on this topic more than a decade ago," the survey said.

Negative views of China increased most in Australia, where 81% now say they see the country unfavorably, up 24 percentage points since last year. In the UK, around three-quarters now see the country in a negative light - up 19 points. And, in the US, negative views of China have increased nearly 20 percentage points since President Donald Trump took office, rising 13 points since last year.

The rise in unfavourable views comes amid widespread criticism over how China has handled the pandemic. Across the 14 nations surveyed, a median of 61 per cent say China has done a bad job dealing with the outbreak.

"Disapproval of how China has handled the COVID-19 pandemic also colours people's confidence in Chinese President Xi Jinping. A median of 78 per cent say they have not too much or no confidence in him to do the right thing regarding world affairs, including at least seven-in-ten in every country surveyed.

This lack of confidence in Xi is at historic highs in every country for which trend data is available except Japan and Spain. In most countries, the per cent saying they have not too much or no confidence in him has grown by double digits since last year. For example, in the Netherlands, whereas around half distrusted Xi last year, today 70% say the same - up 17 percentage points."

Across the 14 countries surveyed, a median of 78% say they have no confidence in Chinese President Xi to do the right thing when it comes to international affairs, with at least seven-in-ten in every country saying they lack confidence in Xi. Only a median of 19% express any trust.

In the US, a majority say they have no confidence at all in Xi (55%), and about half in Canada say the same (47%). No more than a quarter report having any confidence in him in either country.

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First Published: 07 October, 2020 16:45 IST

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