China remains rising star in global attitude survey

08:06, June 18, 2010      

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Overall views of China held by people from all over the world remained largely steady in the past year after improvement in favorability ratings in 2009, and the general public in most nations see China more as a partner, according to a major survey by Pew Research Center released on Thursday.

The survey, conducted in 22 nations from April 7 to May 8, found that in most Western countries, more people view China positively than those view China negatively.

In the United States, 49 percent of those interviewed hold positive views of China, compared to 36 percent who hold negative views. In Spain, the figure is 47 to 38, and in Britain 46 to 35. The majority of public in France and Germany hold China in a negative light.

In Eastern Europe and the developing world, China's ratings remain strong. About 60 percent of Russians view China positively, and with the exception of Turkey, the majority of publics in Muslim nations view China positively. China is also well received in Latin America and Africa.

Former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright, who co- chaired the Pew global attitudes project, noted at a Washington news conference on Thursday that China is regarded highly as a result of the country's fast economic growth.

"Their star is clearly rising," she said.

Apart from this generally positive view, large majorities in African countries, as well as sizable numbers in three Latin American countries polled, view China as a partner. In the United States and Japan, although people who view China as a partner still remain in minority, their percentage in the general population has seen a 10-point increase respectively over the past year.

In addition to China's economic growth rate, Albright attributed the trend to the increased willingness of the Chinese side to "be a part of the solution to global issues," which include the world economic crisis, Korean Peninsula denuclearization and the Iran nuclear issue.

"A lot more people now know about China and have been to China, " she said, citing the Beijing Olympic Games and Shanghai Expo as examples of China's improved "visibility" on the global stage which promotes a better understanding of the country.



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