According to a survey from Pew Research Center, global public opinion from advanced economies toward the Chinese Communist Party under Xi Jinping has turned “precipitously more negative”.

The survey states, “A large majority of Americans see China unfavorably amid concerns about China’s policies on human rights, its partnership with Russia, and other factors.”

In the U.S., “unfavorable opinion” toward China has increased to 82%. The number has doubled since Xi Jinping took office in 2012, when the poll was 40% at the time.  

Like the U.S., countries with over 80% holding unfavorable views of China include Australia, Japan, Sweden, and South Korea.

Especially in South Korea, “unfavorable views of China in South Korea have increased dramatically since 2017.”

Laura Silver, a lead author of the report, told Reuters, “Across advanced economies, there is very little confidence in Xi’s handling of world affairs and very negative views of the country, overall.”

COVID pandemic, a trade war with the U.S, aggressive foreign policy, and a military buildup in the South China Sea push unfavorable views of China to keep rising.

In terms of human rights, the report reads, “Particularly in advanced economies, China has long been seen to have a problematic human rights record. In the U.S., Canada, Australia, South Korea, Japan and every European country surveyed, a majority has consistently said that the Chinese government does not respect the personal freedoms of its people.”

Human rights were also the key issue that raised great concerns for people in those countries most. It ranks above military power, economic competition, and involvement in local politics from China.

Particularly in Australia and the U.S., the majority of respondents think that it’s important to promote human rights in China, even if it can damage economic relations with the Chinese regime. 

Views toward China as a major military threat have been growing across advanced economies. In the U.S., the number increased another 19%, to 67% in this year’s poll.

The survey notes, “As of 2022, a median of 72% across 19 countries surveyed describes China’s military power as a serious problem, including 37% that call it a very serious problem for their country. Concerns are highest in Japan and Australia, where roughly six-in-ten say China’s military is a very serious problem.”

One respondent from Australia expressed her view toward China’s military threat, “I see a similarity between China and pre-WWII Germany. It’s very scary that they have become such a powerhouse and wield so much influence and are able to get away with so much.”

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