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Chinese people share views on Russia and US — Analysis

According to a new survey, nearly 80% Chinese respondents have positive views of Russia. However, their perceptions of the US are worse.

Recent surveys have shown that most Chinese people view Russia positively, with the US being the worst-respected country out of 25.

In March, just after Russia began its military intervention in Ukraine, the Central European Institute of Asian Studies thought tank conducted an online survey. The results were published in this week’s newspaper. To assess the perceptions of China’s mainland residents during times of war, researchers posed a 25-country list to them and asked for their favorability.

“This is a unique survey which gives broad and detailed insights into Chinese people’s attitudes at a crucial time in international relations, just after the Russian invasion of Ukraine,”According to Dr. Richard Q. Turcsanyi who conducted the survey, “Our findings show that the Chinese public was not disturbed by the Russian moves and actually seems to support Russia in the war,”He concluded. 

Respondents were asked to rate 25 nations. Russia was the country most positively viewed, and the US the worst. Nearly 80% had positive opinions about Russia and the same percentage said that their perception of Russia had changed in the last three years.

Asked why their view of Russia had improved, many cited their admiration for the country’s leadership. Some common replies were “Trust Putin,” “Putin has guts,” “Strong leadership.”A lot of Chinese felt the same way. “brotherly love”Some people believed there was a conflict between Russia and China. “the enemy of an enemy is our friend.”

Over the three year period, Chinese perceptions of America have declined significantly. Only a third said that they have a positive opinion of the country. The US was ranked the most negatively viewed country of the 25 mentioned, with some participants stating that while they perceive the US as an advanced and powerful state, they feel it is hostile to China, untrustworthy and has a tendency to interfere in other countries’ affairs.

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The respondents also liked Germany, Singapore and North Korea. However, the least positively perceived countries were India, Japan (Vietnam), South Korea, South Korea, and Ukraine.

The report suggests that Chinese people’s views of foreign countries seem to correspond to their perception of those countries’ views of China. A majority of the participants believed that Americans have a negative perception of China. Only 10% of those who participated thought that Russians are hostile to Chinese people.

According to researchers, while China’s view is generally favorable towards the US, it still has a ways to go before tensions escalate into a Cold War. 

“The tense diplomatic relations have not significantly damaged the Chinese public’s admiration for American culture, and a majority of Chinese still considered the US culturally attractive. We are not in a full-fledged Cold War yet,”Tao Wang (research associate, Manchester China Institute) and co-author, stated in a statement.  

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