Views of China have grown negative in recent years across many advanced economies and over the past year unfavourable opinions for the country have soared, a new 14-country Pew Research Center survey showed.
Advanced economies surveyed were Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, the US, South Korea, Spain, and Canada. Since the survey began a decade ago, the public's views against China have reached their highest levels.
Negative views on China in Australia have seen a significant increase of 24 percentage points in recent months, around 81 percent Australians had a gloomy outlook on the Asian country.
The numbers in the UK show a similar increase; 75 percent of people now harbour negative feelings for China. The US has seen an increase of 20 percentage points in the rating since President Donald Trump took office, of which 13 points have increased in the past year.
This sudden rise in the unfavourable views within the past year or so is attributed to its poor handling of COVID-19 pandemic.
Across all the 14 nations surveyed, an average of 61 percent of people believed that China had done a lousy job in dealing with the pandemic. On the other hand, an average of 73 percent of people believes their governments have done a better job in handling the outbreak.
In exception to the US though, an average of 84 percent Americans believe their government has handled the outbreak poorly, even worse than China.
Perception of the Presidents
Disapproval of outbreak handling has also coloured the confidence in the Chinese President Xi Jinping in a negative light, the highest - 91 percent - being in Japan.
Seventy-eight percent of the people surveyed said that they don't trust the Chinese President to do the right thing in regards to world affairs. This number has grown in double digits since last year.
Then again, as the Chinese President is losing confidence across the world, so is the American President.
While 78 percent Germans don't trust Prez Xi, some 89 percent do not trust Prez Trump.
This shows Prez Xi's world image is somewhat better than Prez Trump's but significantly worse than other world leaders like German Chancellor Angela Markel, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and French President Emmanuel Macron.
The distrust in China and its leaders are at historic highs; this distrust has led to countries bringing about policy changes on different levels.
The Quad meeting held in Tokyo on Tuesday is an example of one such changes led by the foreign ministers of the US, India, Japan, and Australia.
The Quad countries held a dialogue on Tuesday with China at its epicentre since their points of friction with the government has been growing tremendously—like India-China border standoff, trade war, territorial disputes, cybersecurity concerns, and diplomatic stalemate, along with poor handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
(Edited by : Jerome)