China has largely come to be seen in a negative light by many powerful countries and has garnered unfavourable opinion over the past year, according to a 14-country survey by Pew Research Center. The reports show that a negative perspective on China has increased to the highest point ever in the past one decade in countries like France, Italy, South Korea, the United States, UK, Germany, Sweden, Australia, the Netherlands, Spain and Canada.
The Pew Research Center released this data on Tuesday, after conducting the survey from June 10 to August 3 and collecting data from 14 advanced economies. A total of 14,276 adults participated in the polls. Keeping in mind that the report conducted a survey in the midst of a global pandemic caused by a virus that originated in Wuhan, China, it is understandable that the global view towards the country has altered significantly. A total of 1,067,439 people have died because of the coronavirus around the world, so far.
What are the Major Findings of the Report?
Negative views of China increased most in Australia, where 81% of respondents said that they do not favour China anymore, and this is a 24 percentage point’s increase from the last year. In the UK, around three-quarters now see China in a negative light, up by 19 points. And in the U.S., negative views of China have increased by 13 points since last year. Around a third or more in Belgium, Denmark, the UK, Sweden, Canada, the U.S., Australia and Japan also have very unfavourable views of China. Pew Research Center also says that older people seem to have more unfavourable views towards China than the younger people. For example, 68% of Australians under 30 have an unfavourable view of China, but 86% of those above 50 think the same. However, Europeans amongst 11/14 countries mostly voted that they saw China as a bigger economic power than the US.
The Outlook towards China and Coronavirus
People also disapproved of the way Chinese President Xi Jinping handled the virus outbreak by keeping the news from the world for months. A median of 78% said that they do have not too much or no confidence in him to do the right thing about world affairs. There has been a double-digit percentage increase in no confidence in President Xi Jinping from all the participating countries except Japan and Spain, who showed a 3% and 9% increase, respectively. The US is the next country in line for no-confidence as more people said they lacked confidence in the handling of coronavirus by US President Donald Trump as well. The most negative reviews of China’s COVID-19 response come from three nations in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Policy Times on the Survey
- It is now time for China to reassess its activities in the last year and think of immediate constructive measures.
- The Pew Research Center has been conducting this survey over the past decade and holds credibility for nations to take a note of their findings.
- Increased efforts towards global peace and less military action on the neighbours can be a good beginning for China to reestablish its confidence.
- The countries should also realize that economically you can be booming, but if people from around the world start losing confidence in you, it will reflect upon your economic returns as well.