A Pew survey of 19 countries published yesterday found that unfavorable attitudes toward China reached an all-time high in countries like the U.S. and increased significantly in others.
The survey conducted between February 13 and June 3 revealed unfavorable views were mainly related to concerns over China’s human rights policies.
The Pew Research Center listed four key issues in total, with the other three being China’s military power, economic competition and its involvement in domestic politics in each country.
Respondents were asked to say whether each issue was a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” problem for their country.
Across the nations surveyed, a top median of 79% found China’s human rights policies to be a “serious problem,” with another 47% claiming them to be a “very serious problem.”
Of the 19 countries surveyed, 10 countries showed a record-high percentage of holding unfavorable opinions of China, including Canada, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Greece and South Korea, with numbers ranging anywhere from 50% (Greece) to 80% (South Korea).
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Japan held the highest percentage of respondents who had an unfavorable opinion of China with 87%; however, the nation’s record high was reported in 2013 with 93%.
Interestingly enough, while unfavorable views of China showed high percentages, this did not necessarily translate to people viewing their country’s relations with China as “bad.”
For example, 82% of Americans held unfavorable views of China, but only 70% said relations with China were bad, a significantly smaller percentage.
This was even more significant in countries like Hungary and Greece, which had 52% and 50% respectively in holding unfavorable views, but only 8% and 7% when it came to saying relations with China were bad.
Of the 19 countries, the median percentage of those who held an unfavorable view of China was 68%, while the media percentage of those who said their country’s relations with China were bad came down to a mere 32%.
Earlier this week, G7 leaders from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and the European Union condemned China’s ties with Russia amid the Russian-Ukrainian War. News of China’s mistreatment of its marginalized Uyghur population has also been a topic of heated debate. In a poll earlier this year, Chinese citizens’ reported Canada as their least favorite country in a state media survey, suggesting sentiments between many Western nations and China are mutual.