Chinese President Xi Jinping is playing a catch up with the US President Donald Trump to feature among leaders who are negatively viewed worldwide. As per the latest finding by the Pew Research Summer 2020 Global Attitude Survey in 14 countries, a median of 78% say they have no confidence in President Xi, and a median of 83% say the same of President Donald Trump. In most countries, no more than 3 in 10 trust Xi Jinping. The survey does not cover India and China. The third most unpopular leader in the survey is the Russian President Vladimir Putin with 73% of people lacking confidence in him.
Not just Xi, China too figures high in the top of the list of unfavourable countries as per the survey. A whopping 73% of the respondents have an unfavourable view of China. In most countries, around three-quarters, or more see China in a negative light.
Handling of COVID-19 outbreak
The handling of COVID-19 outbreak appears to be the single largest factor for lack of confidence in China. 61% of the respondents do not approve the Chinese response to the COVID-19 epidemic. The Asia-Pacific respondents (Japan, South Korea and Australia) had the most negative reviews of China’s COVID-19 response. Negative views of China increased most in Australia, where 81% now see the country unfavourably. A previous survey on 5 December 2019 by the Pew Research showed that 65% of the Australians surveyed acknowledged the growth of the Chinese economy as a good thing.
China’s Military Might and Investment
The 5 December 2019 Pew Survey shows that the growing Chinese Military might is being increasingly looked up as a concern even in the countries where Chinese rising economy is viewed positively.
Even the Chinese investments are seen as a concern as the respondents felt that it gave the Chinese too much influence over their economies. Around 59% of the countries surveyed (Australia, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, India and Indonesia) in Asia felt the Chinese investments are bad for their economies.
China as an ally
The US, ably assisted by its Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which was once considered as the most hated countries in the world is now among the more trusted ones thanks to China. Most countries surveyed named the US as an ally than China.