A student fixes a national flag outside his dormitory at the Beijing Institute of Technology yesterday. Students are increasingly displaying national flags to express patriotism and support for the Beijing Olympics.
France used to rank only next to their motherland as the most beloved country for the Chinese, but that has changed dramatically, according to a survey released yesterday.
The poll by Horizon Research Consultancy Group, an independent survey company, shows that as many as 60 percent of respondents "registered a growing dislike for France".
Horizon's telephone poll between April 18 and 20 covered 905 residents, aged 16-65, in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The respondents said the French attitude toward the Beijing Olympics had severely dented their impression of the country.
The survey also suggested that Canada, Britain and Germany also dropped in the rating, with 64.8 percent, 57.2 percent and 58.1 percent saying they had more negative feelings now.
The survey contrasted sharply with Horizon's annual study called "The World in Chinese Eyes" in 2003, when France was the second most liked country. The next year it was fourth in the ranking.
The poll results clearly reveal simmering resentment among the Chinese toward France following a series of hostile gestures, including disruptions to the Olympic torch relay in Paris on April 7.
"I'm upset at the French bias on China's human rights issues," said Duan Chen, a 25-year-old who works for a law firm. "It is guilty without charge!