Negative views of China remain near record highs across the developed world, according to a latest survey, as the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) marks its centenary amid a wave of state propaganda aimed at audiences at home and overseas.
Majority of the people across 17 developed economies surveyed this year by the Pew Research Center hold an unfavourable opinion of China, including record highs in Canada, Germany, South Korea and the United States.
“Large majorities in most of the advanced economies surveyed have broadly negative views of China,” the report found.
Negative opinions of China accounted for around 88% of respondents in Japan, 80% in Sweden, 78% in Australia, and 76% in the United States, the report said.
“Confidence in Chinese President Xi Jinping remains at or near historic lows in most places surveyed,” the report found.
“In all but one of the 17 publics surveyed, majorities say they have little or no confidence in him – including half or more in Australia, France, Sweden and Canada who say they have no confidence in him at all.”
However, China did score more highly than the US in one key area: its perceived handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Pew report author Laura Silver.
Large majorities of respondents in Sweden, the US, South Korea, Australia, and the Netherlands “believe that the Chinese government does not respect the personal freedom of Chinese people,” the report said.
Meanwhile, more than 80% of respondents in Japan, Sweden, South Korea, the US, and Australia reported that they distrust Xi Jinping’s governance.
The results were published on the eve of the CCP centenary on Thursday, at which Xi sought to present the ruling party as “concerned about the future and destiny of mankind.”
“China has always been a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of international order!” he told a hand-picked crowd of tens of thousands on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
But the CCP general secretary also warned foreign countries not to mess with China.
“We Chinese … are not intimidated by threats of force,” Xi said. “We will never allow any foreign force to bully, oppress, or subjugate us.”
“Anyone who would attempt to do so will find themselves on a collision course with a great wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people,” he said, according to the official translation of his speech posted by state news agency Xinhua.
Xi’s original speech in Chinese contained a four-character expression that referred to the hypothetical foreigners having their skulls smashed and their blood running everywhere after running into the Great Wall of iron and steel forged by 1.4 billion Chinese people. (Source: RFA)