China's Xi receives highest rating among world leaders

Updated: 2014-12-17 20:45


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Chinese President Xi Jinping was the highest rated world leader in many fields, according to a survey published by Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.

Xi topped both the domestic ratings that respondents gave to their own leaders and international scoring. Chinese respondents showed the highest confidence in regards to how their leader handled domestic and international affairs.

In terms of ratings of their own leaders in their respective countries, Xi was the highest rated leader with a nine out of 10 rating. Russia's Putin followed with an 8.7 with India's Modi and South Africa's Jacob Zuma rounding out the top. When it came to how the 10 leaders are rated by people in other countries, Xi also fared the best, with Modi, Merkel and Zuma trailing.

Xi is highly thought of in Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe.

The Chinese president had the highest average score, at 7.5, based on international scoring. With the exception of Japan, he is reasonably well received in all countries in this survey, according to the analysis of Anthony Saich, a China expert at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Findings also show that 93.9 percent of Chinese respondents claimed to pay attention to President Xi.

In regards to the confidence citizens have in how their own leaders handling of domestic and international affairs, President Xi topped the list in both categories at 94.8 percent and 93.8 percent respectively. In second on the list was Indian Prime Minister Modi with 93.2 percent and 93.3 percent respectively. Russian President Putin came in third with 86.2 percent and 86 percent.

President Xi was rated high in Asian and African countries except Japan on his handling of domestic affairs. More than 51 percent of respondents in the US said they approved of Xi's handling of international affairs. Xi also rated well in the rest of the countries.

In regards to awareness of the ten leaders among the respondents in 30 countries, Xi ranked fourth. US President Barack Obama, Russian President Putin and British Prime Minister Cameron took the first three places.

According to Saich, figures on the recognition on development strategy of the ten countries among all respondents shows that China's rapid development left a profound impression on the people surveyed in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The survey also showed that Xi's visits to particular countries have made a significant difference in terms of appreciation of the Chinese leader. Appreciation of the Chinese President rose 10 percent in the countries that he has visited. Unsurprisingly, awareness of Xi also rose in those countries by 10 percent.

The ten national leaders used in the survey are Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South African President Jacob Zuma.

The leaders in the survey rule over countries that have adopted disparate development strategies ranging from almost full market-based policies to nations where state engagement and control of key sectors are more prevalent.

The survey questioned people from 30 countries in total, 12 from Asia (China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Pakistan, India, Israel and Saudi Arabia), 4 from Africa (Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa), 4 from the Americas (United States, Canada, Brazil and Chile), 8 from Europe (Russia, Ukraine, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Italy and Finland) and 2 from Oceania (Australia and New Zealand).

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