Monday 3 January 2011

Most Chinese suspicious of West, though less see China as superpower

(, Jan 02, 2011)  Over 80 percent of the Chinese do not trust the West, thanks probably to the propaganda-oriented party-government monopolized media in China, although the number of those who consider their country a “superpower” has declined to12 percent, compared to 14.4 percent in 2008, according to China’s party mouthpiece, the People's Daily online Dec 31. The finding is based on a poll conducted by the Global Poll Centre run by the Global Times, the newspaper’s international English-language edition which aims to sell a better image of China to the outside world.

The report noted that the reduction in superpower perception, seen for the first time over the findings in the past four years, was observed “despite wide acknowledgement of China's economic might and its political and diplomatic leverage – the two major parameters in defining a superpower.”  Nevertheless, the report also noted that 84 percent of the respondents were optimistic on the future global setting for China's rise, seeing either improving or stabilizing ties with other major global players.

The diplomatic rows China encountered in 2010 fuelled public awareness about the difficult factors China will face as it continue to grow, the report cited Wu Xinbo, deputy director of the Centre for American Studies at Fudan University, as saying.

The report took care to note that the finding did not indicate a decline in the Chinese people’s patriotism but showed they were being more objective. "The result shows that Chinese people are becoming more objective when considering these issues," Wu was quoted as saying.

The report also said the patriotism of Chinese people was seen in the findings, with China topping the US as the most favoured country to travel in. Besides, more than 80 percent of the participants were reported to have expressed worries about Western intentions to contain China's development, with around 40 percent calling for countermeasures to be taken against threats to China.

More than 60 percent were reported to have denounced corrupt officials for tarnishing China's global image.

The poll was based on telephone interviews of a random sampling of 1,488 people in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Chongqing to analyze how Chinese see the world.

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