Perceptions of China grow positive

By Wei Jia
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, March 13, 2018
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A Gallup survey published earlier this month found that 53 percent of Americans view China favorably, demonstrating a marked increase over the past two years.

Foreign visitors take pictures on the Great Wall in Beijing. [Photo:]

The results of the survey—based on telephone interviews conducted in February—show how Americans' perspectives are shifting in favor of China, despite a complicated relationship with the country.

Sixty-seven percent of respondents aged 18 to 34 hold a favorable view, compared with 54 percent of those aged 35 to 54. People 55 and older have the least positive view of China, at 39 percent.

Opinions towards China are also split along party lines, with significantly more Democrats than Republicans viewing China in a positive manner.

Only 42 percent of Republicans havea favorable view of China over the past two years, whereas Democrats stand at 59 percent.

The survey pointed out that despite the fact that 44 percent of Americans perceived China positively in 2016, the figure rose to 50 in 2017, and reached 53 percent this year, a majority for the first time in the past three decades.

The percentage of respondents who viewed China "very favorably" has never been lower than 6 percent since the 2012 survey, hitting as high as 10 percent in 2017. In contrast, the highest amount of "very favorable" ratings given since the beginning of this century to 2012 was just 7 percent in 2007.

The result of the survey shows disparity between the Trump administration's rhetoric and public perception of China.

Gallup attributes these changes to a decline in fear of China's growing economic power.

The 2016-2017 China National Image Global Survey offers a more comprehensive analysis of this phenomenon.

In the 22-country survey conducted by the Center for International Communication Studies under the China International Publishing Group, China scored 6.22 out of 10 on its overall image, maintaining a slight upward curve in recent years.

The Chinese survey, which includes the U.S., shares a similar finding as the Gallup survey— people aged 18 to 35 have the best impression of China.

Besides the country's economy, of which 33 percent of the survey's 11,000 respondents believe will become the world's largest, China's global influence is also widely recognized.

People in developed and developing countries who took part in the Chinese survey believe that China's international status and global influence will continue to grow, and that China will lead the next round of globalization and contribute more to global governance in the future.

The increasingly positive views about China in the U.S. and other countries are testament to China's role as a responsible stakeholder in global affairs and how its own development benefits other countries as well. 

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