Japan most unfavourable towards the Chinese regime. In the US, the disapproval rate is 73%, as in the major European states; in Italy it is 62%. Drop in support after criticism of its handling of the pandemic. Distrust of Xi above 70% on average. Beijing's economic power is recognized. Extreme nationalism does not help improve the image of the Asian giant.
Washington (AsiaNews) – Unfavourable views of China and Xi Jinping is at an all-time high globally, according to the latest research from the Pew Research Center (Prc).
In a survey published yesterday carried out on a sample of over 14 thousand individuals, belonging to 14 states, the majority returned an unfavourable opinion of Beijing. In the USA, Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Australia and South Korea, the misperception of the Asian giant has reached its highest level in 10 years now.
The nation most hostile to the Chinese regime is Japan, with a rate of 86%, followed by Sweden (85%), Australia (81%) and the United Kingdom (74%). In President Trump's United States, engaged in an all-out confrontation with China, China is viewed negatively by 73%. It is on average the same level found in the major European countries, except Italy, where hostility towards Beijing stops at 62%, up by only one point compared to a year ago (in Germany it was 25%).
According to data collected by the PRC, opposition to China has grown in tandem with criticism of its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Considering all the countries studied, an average of 61% think that the Chinese authorities have handled the Covid-19 emergency badly. Only the United States has done worse in this regard: for 84% of US respondents, the Trump administration has failed to fight the virus.
Mistrust of Xi, criticized for delays in admitting the existence of a health crisis in Wuhan (Hubei) between late December and early January, is also at its peak. In all countries monitored, Xi's disapproval rate exceeds 70%, with peaks of 84% in Japan. In the last year, unfavourable views of the Chinese president have increased more markedly in the US (+ 27%), Australia (+ 25%) and Italy (+ 21%). Compared to other world-class statesmen, the Beijing leader garners more support than Trump, but less than Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson.
Beijing is more successful on the economic side. Apart from the United States, Japan and South Korea, in the rest of the countries studied, China is seen as the world's leading economic power. The most favourable figure (51%) is the European one. For analysts, the interesting aspect is that the recognition of Chinese economic power - an epochal change with respect to US domination - does not erase the general negative perception of the Xi regime.
Several observers, including former Chinese ambassador Yuan Nansheng, point out that "extreme" nationalism and the muscular approach of the "wolf warriors" - the new generation of diplomatic envoys - do not help improve China's image.