A brand new international public opinion survey of individuals in 25 international locations has revealed steep declines in assist for China, though Beijing nonetheless is seen favorably by many in Africa, the place it’s vying for affect with Washington.
The survey by the Britain-based YouGov-Cambridge Globalism Project was carried out between August and September this yr, polling about 1,000 individuals in every nation, together with in three giant African states: Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. The survey requested individuals about their opinions on China, the United States and Taiwan.
The information confirmed that within the West, assist for China has dropped significantly previously 4 years. One motive for that might be the pandemic. When respondents had been requested about the place it originated, most individuals positioned blame for the outbreak of COVID-19 squarely on China.
Asked if China had a “generally positive or negative effect on world affairs” solely 17% of respondents in France mentioned it was optimistic, down from 36% within the first survey in 2019. In Germany that determine was even decrease, at 13%, down from 30% 4 years in the past.
Many different Western international locations mirrored this development, however the story is barely completely different in Africa, the place China is the continent’s largest buying and selling associate. Although its rating additionally dropped barely over the four-year-period in Nigeria and South Africa, throughout the continent, China was nonetheless extensively seen as a power for good.
In South Africa 61% of respondents noticed China’s affect on the earth as optimistic, in Kenya the assist for China was larger at 82% and, in Nigeria, it was highest out of the three, standing at 83%.
Still, regardless of Beijing’s no-strings loans and enormous infrastructure initiatives as a part of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative, African assist for the U.S. remained barely larger.
In South Africa, 69% of individuals interviewed noticed the U.S. as a typically optimistic power, and in each Kenya and Nigeria that quantity was at 88%.
On a separate query about which nation, China or the U.S., respondents would favor to have as the worldwide superpower, 20 of the 25 international locations polled selected the U.S., together with all 4 Africa nations by an enormous margin.
Seventy-seven % of Nigerians selected the U.S. as the popular superpower, as did 80% of Kenyans, and to a lesser extent 59% of South Africans.
“Results from the African countries in this study stand out for how they reflect such positive views toward both America and China as actors on the world stage,” Joel Rogers de Waal, tutorial director at YouGov, instructed VOA.
“At the same time, however, they show an obvious preference for having America, rather than China, as the reigning superpower, which perhaps raises some interesting questions about the progress of Chinese soft power in these parts of Africa.”
On different, extra particular questions, the U.S. fared much less favorably. For instance, requested which nation had engaged in “bullying” conduct globally, Washington trumped Beijing in all three African nations.
Likewise on the query of which nation has “given military support to one side or another in a foreign civil war, in ways that do more harm than good to the people of that country.” Africans blamed the U.S. for this greater than China. And when it comes to being suspected of interference in different international locations’ nationwide elections, the U.S. once more fared worse than China.
And though Washington more and more warns Africa and the world of the specter of Chinese spying and surveillance, respondents in each South Africa and Nigeria positioned extra blame for worldwide cyberattacks on the U.S.
Question of Taiwan
While China was extra common amongst African and plenty of different international South international locations surveyed than it was within the West, that assist was not unconditional.
The survey was carried out across the time Taiwan was within the information amid the controversial go to by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the contested island. Since then, Washington has warned that China may transfer to annex Taiwan earlier than anticipated.
In Beijing, on the Chinese Communist Party’s congress, President Xi Jinping mentioned he reserved the choice of taking “all measures necessary” on the difficulty of Taiwan.
While the overwhelming majority of African governments shouldn’t have diplomatic relations with Taipei and again Beijing—which regards the self-governing island as a part of larger China—the survey signifies bizarre Africans differ with their political leaders on the difficulty.
“If China used force against Taiwan … do you think other countries should provide help?” the ballot requested. Some 60% of Nigerians thought assist ought to be offered to Taiwan, whereas 63% of Kenyans agreed, as did 47% of South Africans.
Those numbers had been larger even than in some Western international locations, with solely 38% of French individuals surveyed saying assist ought to be offered to Taiwan, and simply 52% of respondents within the U.S. agreeing.
The information signifies that international politics are usually not as binary as some imagine, with bizarre individuals in Africa in a position to see China as a typically optimistic power on the earth, whereas additionally expressing considerations about a few of its insurance policies. as effectively as assist for the protection of Taiwan.
Africans See China as Positive Force
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Africans See China as Positive Force
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Africans See China as Positive Force
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