Chinese views of US less positive

Updated: 2012-10-19 01:36

By Cheng Guangjin (China Daily)

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The Chinese public has become more wary of the United States, a recent Pew Research Center survey shows.

Released on Tuesday, the survey finds that over the last two years, the percentage of Chinese who characterize their country's relationship with the US as one of cooperation has plummeted from 68 percent to 39 percent.

Survey officials conducted face-to-face interviews with 3,177 respondents between March 18 and April 15 this year. The sample represents approximately 64 percent of the adult Chinese population. The poll in China is part of the broader 21-nation spring 2012 Pew Global Attitudes survey.

Still, many Chinese embrace aspects of US "soft power", including science and technology.

Over the last two years, Chinese views about their country's relationship with the US have shifted substantially.

In 2010, about two-thirds of those asked described the US-China relationship as one of cooperation; today, just 39 percent view it this way. Meanwhile, 26 percent now say the relationship is one of hostility, up from 8 percent in the 2010 poll.

Similarly, while 58 percent had a positive view of the US in 2010, only 43 percent do so today.

US President Barack Obama's ratings have also slipped. Currently, 38 percent express confidence that he will do the right thing in world affairs, down from 52 percent two years ago.

The public opinions reflect that Sino-US relations have not been good over the last two years, said Niu Jun, an expert on US studies at Peking University.

The US "pivot to Asia" and trade frictions with China, which have generated massive media attention, have affected people's perception of the countries, Niu said.

While overall ratings for the US are mixed in China, certain aspects of America's image are positive.

Nearly three in four (73 percent) say they admire US technological and scientific advances. However, this is down 7 percentage points since 2007, when eight in 10 Chinese said the same.

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