Why would the world turn sour on China? It is a lovable communist country with a quest for world domination, who harvests organs and has concentration camps, but should that fact colour our judgment, I ask, about someone buying so much of our iron ore to make into weapons?
“President Xi Jinping’s China has never been less trusted or viewed more negatively across the developed world, with unfavourable sentiment rising most sharply in Australia.
A new international survey by the Washington-based Pew Research Centre found negative sentiment towards China at record levels in Australia, South Korea, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, Britain, Spain, Canada and the US.
Citizens in 14 developed-world countries — spanning Europe, North America, East Asia and Australia — were even more wary of Mr Xi, with at least seven in 10 people in every country surveyed saying they did not have confidence that China’s leader would do the right thing in world affairs.
“Confidence in Xi is low among men and women, those with higher and lower levels of education, across age groups and among those with higher and lower incomes,” Pew researchers Laura Silver, Kat Devlin and Christine Huang said in the report.
The survey of 14,276 adults — conducted from June 10 to August 3 — is the most comprehensive snapshot of the decline in China’s standing in the rich world after the COVID-19 outbreak and the rising power’s subsequent “wolf warrior” diplomacy.
It follows a companion Pew survey released last month that found attitudes towards America had plunged among its allies — including Australia — as US President Donald Trump’s administration struggled with the new coronavirus while blaming China for the outbreak.
The new Pew survey found negative views towards China increased the most over the past 12 months in Australia, leaping 24 per cent to a record 81 per cent.
Only three years ago, Australia had the most favourable sentiment towards China among the surveyed countries, with only 32 per cent of Australians having an unfavourable view in Pew’s 2017 survey.
The record low — which followed a series of economic threats made by Mr Xi’s regime after the Morrison government called for an inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus — was revealed days after China’s former Australian ambassador, Fu Ying, called for Australia and China to avoid “resorting to confrontation” to improve the bilateral relationship.”
This is all inevitable as the world rolls merrily on the way to World War III.