Chinese president Xi Jinping is on his first European visit, and once again China finds itself in the international diplomatic spotlight, with much attention focused on the president's practical diplomatic skills and human touch. It is inevitable that people will begin to ask how China’s national image appears to foreign eyes. A recent survey reveals the answer.
The global survey “China's image in foreigners' eyes” has been conducted by Liu Kang and his team since 2009. Liu is a professor at American Duke University, and head of the Institute of Arts and Humanities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Polling has been completed in the U.S., Asia and Latin America.
What is China's image in foreigners' eyes?
- Survey in the U.S.
The data was collected two years after the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.
Although the result of the global survey has not been made public, Liu found that an increasing number of foreigners have a favorable impression of China. In contrast with the American media’s negative attitude toward China, American nationals were not hostile to China.
On international relations, 42% of Americans consider China as partner, 27.7% think China is their enemy, another 29.6% remain neutral.
60.8% of Americans believe that "China has influence in world politics", and 77% think China will increase its influence in the world over the next decade; more than half of Americans (54.9%) agree that the Chinese government is pursuing the right policies in Sino-US relations; 60% of Americans believe that China plays a decisive role in the world, but also two thirds think China has failed to shoulder its international obligations as a major country; a majority of Americans are interested in Sino-US relations, considering that China and US have common interests; 59.3% also believe that the American economy will suffer greater damage than China if the two countries do not maintain cooperation in matters of trade.
On China's politics and economy, Americans also have greater understanding, and recognize China's achievements in economic development. 55% of Americans agreed with the statement that "The Chinese people are satisfied with the political system", while 17.8% were neutral, and 25% respondents disagreed; 64.3% of Americans think the Chinese economy is competitive on the international stage.
However, with regard to Chinese culture, American public opinion is less positive than might be expected. Fewer than 30% feel that Chinese popular culture is attractive; only a little more than 40% believe that China has a long and rich traditional culture.