07 Oct 2020
In 14 countries, most people have unfavorable views toward China
China no longer evokes emotions of goodwill, at least among 14 advanced countries, that were surveyed by the US-based Pew Research Center. The findings of the research, published on Tuesday, showed China's unpopularity has reached historic highs in the last year.
14,276 adults gave their opinion over the telephone, and most said they had little confidence in China and its President Xi Jinping.
China's unpopularity touched historic high in nine countries
Among the nine of the 14 countries surveyed — namely Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Netherlands, Canada, Spain, Sweden, and South Korea — China's unpopularity reached the highest-ever since Pew started listing countries on this basis, nearly a decade ago.
The other countries that were surveyed, between June 10 and August 3, are Belgium, Japan, Italy, Denmark, and France.
Most respondents weren't satisfied with China's handling of coronavirus outbreak
A median of 61% respondents opined that China didn't handle the coronavirus pandemic well, while 37% believed the country did a decent job.
Since its origin in China last year, coronavirus has killed 1,054,604 globally and infected 36,041,783.
Beijing is repeatedly facing ire from the global community for not revealing crucial information about the disease, which prohibited countries from planning the response better.
Even those happy with China's response weren't pleased with Jinping
Similarly, respondents didn't have a favorable view of Jinping. A median of 78% said they had "not too much or no confidence in him to do the right thing regarding world affairs."
Interestingly, even those who seemed content with China's handling of the pandemic had a poor opinion of Jinping.
No more than four in 10 people trusted the Chinese leader.
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In some countries, Trump fared worse than Jinping
Notably, US President Donald Trump was more unpopular than his Chinese counterpart in some countries. In Germany, for example, 78% of respondents had no faith in Jinping, and 89% in Trump. 84% of respondents opined that the US handled the coronavirus outbreak poorly.
Negative views for China increased the most in Australia
The survey found that negative views for China increased the most in Australia. In 2017, merely 32% of respondents had unfavorable views about China. By 2020, this figure reached 81%.
Earlier, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for a probe into the virus' origins, inviting retaliation from China on the trade front.
Beijing suspended Australian beef imports and levied higher tariffs on barley.
A large chunk of Japanese were also unimpressed with China
The sentiment toward China was unflattering in Japan as well; 86% of respondents had an unfavorable view.
"Japan also stands out as a country where less than 0.5% of the public — effectively no one — reports having a lot of confidence in China's President," said the study.
South Koreans, Japanese, Australians, and Danes, were extremely critical of China's response to the health crisis.
Italy's residents had little complaints about China's coronavirus response
Surprisingly, Italy, the first nation to be battered, seemed pleased with China's handling of coronavirus. 51% said they were satisfied with China's response.
South Korea emerged as the only country where the younger lot had more discouraging views about China than the older generation.
Barring citizens in Japan and the US, all respondents felt China's handling of the pandemic was better than the US.
China scored well when economy was taken into account
On the economic strength scale, Beijing landed a bright spot. A majority in every country surveyed in Europe viewed China as the world's leading economic power, and not the US.
In Japan, 53% of respondents, and 77% of respondents in South Korea, saw the US as the leading economic power.
Americans also saw their own country as the leader in the global economy.