China, US poll mostly favorable
Updated: 2012-04-23 10:42
By Wang Jun in Los Angeles (China Daily)
A new US-China survey finds that "despite growing mistrust, citizens from both nations acknowledge the need for improved political and business cooperation and diplomacy."
The Committee of 100 (C-100), a national non-partisan, non-profit Chinese-American cultural-exchange advocacy organization, released the results of the survey on Friday at its annual conference in Pasadena, California.
A majority of Americans and Chinese agree that: China will have leading influence in the Asia-Pacific region 20 years from now; China will have the most influence over the global economy in the next 20 years; and the US will remain the world's leading superpower during the next 20 years.
"We will use this study to advocate for constructive relationship-building between the peoples of the US and China, and to further promote education, diplomacy and leadership development," said Dominic Ng, C-100 chairman and chairman and CEO of Southern California-based East West Bank.
Favorable opinion has increased among all US respondent groups since 2007, particularly among business leaders, from 54 percent to 72 percent. Unfavorable opinion decreased significantly in the US since 2007 across all groups: public from 45 percent to 37 percent, opinion leaders from 43 percent to 35 percent, and business leaders from 41 percent to 27 percent.
On the China side, while favorable opinion among the general public has held steady since 2007 at around 60 percent, unfavorable opinion has increased slightly by 4.6 percent. Favorable opinion among opinion and business leaders remains more than 90 percent, although the level decreased slightly by 3.8 percent among business leaders since 2007.
Both US and China business and opinion leaders misestimated the general public's opinion of each other. US leaders said about 20 percent of the US public views China favorably. In fact, 55 percent of the public reports favorable views of China. Business leaders in China said about 82 percent of the public holds favorable views of the US. However, the survey found about 59 percent of the public reports favorable views of the US.
Regarding initial thoughts toward each other, culture, history, food and the Great Wall are the first things that come to the mind for the American public. And, war and the military are the first thoughts that come to mind for the Chinese public, which is consistent with a survey that C-100 conducted in 2007.
Approximately two-thirds of leaders from the US report improved opinions about China after visiting the country, but about 28 percent of the Chinese public who visited the US reports less favorable impressions.
The survey revealed mistrust between the two countries. More than 50 percent of the Americans surveyed said the US should trust China "little" or "not at all", while more than 50 percent of Chinese think the US is not trustworthy.
The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive in the US and Horizon Research Consultancy Group in China.