PEW STUDY: Xi Dents China’s Image Abroad

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In all but one of the 17 publics surveyed, majorities say they have little or no confidence in President Xi – including half or more in Australia, France, Sweden and Canada who say they have no confidence in him at all … reports Asian Lite News

Most advanced countries in the world see China in a negative, unvafourable light while positive views of the US among advanced economies have been are improving since President Joe Biden took office, according to a new Pew Research Center Survey.

The Washington based research organisation, recently conducted a survey among the 17 biggest economies of the world-in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region-which gave extremely negative views about China.

The study showed that whereas last year negative views of both countries were at or near historic highs, confidence in the US president has shot up precipitously since Joe Biden took office, while confidence in President Xi Jinping remains unchanged and near historic lows.

The findings were drawn from nationally representative surveys conducted between February 1 to May 26 this year among 18,850 people in 17 advanced economies.

When it comes to China, the opposite is true, according to the survey. Among the 17 publics surveyed, only in two – Greece and Singapore – do around half or more have a favourable view. In fact, large majorities in most of the advanced economies surveyed have broadly negative views of China  – including around three-quarters or more who say this in Japan (88%), Sweden (80%), Australia (78%), South Korea (77%) and the U.S. (76%). In many places, these unfavourable views are at or near historic highs, though they are largely unchanged since last year.

Last year, the suvey said few had confidence in either Xi or then-President Donald Trump to do the right thing regarding world affairs – and across much of Western Europe, more had confidence in Xi than Trump. Now however, views of Xi continue to be widely negative: In all but one of the 17 publics surveyed, majorities say they have little or no confidence in him – including half or more in Australia, France, Sweden and Canada who say they have no confidence in him at all.

Around half or more in almost every place surveyed say it is more important for their nation to have strong economic ties with the U.S. than with China. The only exceptions are Singapore and New Zealand. Compared with 2018, when the question was last asked, Australians are 16 percentage points more likely to value close economic ties with the U.S.

However, there has been more praise China’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic than say the same of the US, though assessments of both superpowers’ approach have improved over the past year. Across the 17 publics surveyed, a median of 49% say China has done a good job dealing with the outbreak, compared with a median of 37% who rate the U.S. response positively. In fact, except for Japan, no public views the United States’ handling of the virus as better than China’s. (ANI)