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Advanced Economies Have Unfavorable View of China: Pew

(Bloomberg) – Negative views of China remain near record highs across the developed world, according to the latest Pew survey, while favorable ratings on Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus were offset by concerns. on his human rights record.

Majorities in 15 of the 17 advanced economies surveyed this year by the Pew Research Center have an unfavorable view of China, including record highs in Canada, Germany, South Korea and the United States. In February, about 76% of Americans had a negative perception of the most populous country in the world, three percentage points more than last year.

The percentage of people with a negative outlook on China was even higher in places like Japan (88%), Sweden (80%), Australia (78%) and South Korea (77%), all of whom have had high diplomatic disputes of high profile with Beijing in recent years. Only Greece and Singapore have overwhelmingly favorable opinions towards the country.

The report, released hours before President Xi Jinping marked the Communist Party’s centennial, shows the diplomatic challenge China faces in its attempt to exert greater influence globally. Last month, Xi urged Chinese officials to create a “trustworthy, lovable and respectable” image for the country, in a sign that Beijing may be looking to soften its tough diplomatic approach.

Questions about China’s early handling of the first known coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan helped fuel the dramatic decline in favorable views towards the country. Pew surveys of nearly 18,900 adults across 17 markets show some improvement in that area, with a median of 49% saying China is doing a good job handling the pandemic.

Still, the report showed growing dissatisfaction with China’s human rights practices, as Beijing defended its labor programs in Xinjiang and imposed a national security law in Hong Kong. Chinese diplomats have attacked countries that have criticized such actions, which Beijing considers internal affairs.

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The majority in all but one of the 17 have little or no confidence in Xi’s ability to run world affairs. In Germany, France and Sweden, half or more say they don’t trust Xi “at all”.

“Despite the widespread feeling that China does not respect the personal freedoms of its people, the public is somewhat divided on what the appropriate response should be,” the report’s authors said.

The 17 advanced economies surveyed, dominated largely by American allies, also indicated a preference for the United States in the wake of the election of President Joe Biden last year. Most in more than half of the places said it was more important to have stronger economic ties with the United States than with China, including Japan, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

The survey was conducted under the direction of Gallup and Langer Research Associates between February and May. The results have different margins of error.

Original Note: US Views on China Harden Amid Human Rights Disputes, Pew Finds

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