Americans increasingly view China favorably

08:50, January 31, 2011      

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Views about China are changing in the United States and more than 70 percent of Americans now view the country either favorably or neutrally, according to a survey released yesterday.

The survey, by Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Duke University in the US, showed that around 42 percent of Americans regarded China as an ally, including 5.4 percent who think the alliance between the two countries is strong, while about 30 percent held neutral views.

The survey, compiled from telephone interviews with families across the US, received 810 usable samples between June and November last year. The survey showed that unfavorable attitudes towards China decreased to 27 percent from 36 percent in 2010 and 39 percent in 2007, according to previous polls by the Pew Research Center, a Washington-based think tank.

"More Americans feel the benefit of high quality but low price 'made in China' products while the two countries enjoy more economic and trade cooperation," said Liu Kang, dean of Institute of Arts and Humanities of Jiao Tong University and organizer of the survey.

About 77 percent of Americans in the survey believed China would be a greater world power in 10 years. Asked whether China would become more or less "democratic and responsive to its people," 27.7 percent said it would, while 59.3 percent believed it would "stay about the same."

The survey also showed that differences still existed in both countries' cultural values.

For example, more than 88 percent of Americans did not think a husband should always support his mother in a disagreement between his mother and his wife, while in China, the husband would persuade his wife to obey the mother even if the mother was wrong, said Liu.

About 60 percent of Americans also did not agree that "it should give higher priority to the interests of all over those of individuals" and that "students should never challenge teachers' authority."

Liu said both nations only agreed on some basic values, including sacrificing self interest for your country and children obeying their parents.

The survey found that only 9.3 percent of Americans thought China had an attractive modern culture while just 40 percent agreed China had a rich cultural heritage, a figure far lower than Liu had expected.

By Yang Jian, Shanghai Daily
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