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  • Apr 20, 2014
  • Updated: 4:32am
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FOREIGN RELATIONS

China viewed as arrogant, tough, global poll finds

Results of survey in 14 countries points to limited influence of soft power, state media says

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 December, 2013, 2:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 December, 2013, 4:00am

People around the world see China as "confident", "belligerent" and "arrogant", state-run media reported yesterday in an unusually direct survey of attitudes towards the country.

Only 13 per cent of respondents in the poll by the Global Times newspaper described China as "peaceful", a sign that Beijing's territorial disputes with its Asian neighbours have taken a toll on its image.

It also concluded that "the closer you are to China, the more likely you are to have a negative view of it".

The Global Times tends to take a nationalistic stance and is close to the ruling Communist Party.

With the exception of rivals such as the US or Japan, state-run media coverage of relations with other countries normally concentrates on the positive, and it is rare for criticism of China to be reported.

But in the survey of 14,400 people in 14 countries, 30 per cent of respondents called China "confident" in international affairs, with 29 per cent describing it as "belligerent", while "complicated" was chosen by 28 per cent.

"People also describe China with words such as 'tough', 'arrogant' and 'co-operative'," the paper added, with each of them chosen by about 25 per cent of respondents.

China has long been embroiled in disputes with its neighbours, particularly Japan and the Philippines, over islands in the East and South China Seas.

The report cited the limited international influence of Chinese media as one possible reason for negative perceptions of China abroad.

The survey was conducted last month in countries including the United States, Russia, Japan, India, Vietnam, South Korea, South Africa, Britain, the Philippines and Brazil.

The paper did not detail the methodology of the study, carried out by the Global Times Global Poll Centre, but described it as "the first political survey conducted by a Chinese media agency on a global scale as the country grows increasingly concerned about its soft power".

The paper quoted Professor Swaran Singh of Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi as saying the adjectives used "can be seen as elements of any rapidly evolving rising power".

"China needs to develop its soft power," it cited Sunjoy Joshi, of India's Observer Research Foundation, as saying. "It needs to be gentle in its conduct of neighbourhood diplomacy. Similarly it must not allow its economic diplomacy to be viewed as neocolonialism or 21st century resource colonisation."

About 25 per cent of respondents from neighbouring countries said they "like" China, according to the survey, compared with 36 per cent from non-neighbouring countries.

The poll also showed that only 12 per cent of respondents received news about China through Chinese media programmes broadcast in their countries.

By contrast, 44 per cent said they learned about China from "internationally recognised media, such as CNN and the BBC", while 39 per cent cited their local television stations as a source.

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newgalileo
Unfortunately I can only agree with the poll. Even if the perception in the West about China is not correct, China mostly has itself to blame by its attitudes and horrible PR. They make (foreign) media happy by all their way of handling press releases, official statements, etc. Worst, most Chinese do not even "get" it. Their reactions only confirm how poor their understanding is of "soft power". Nationalism is excellent to blind vision.
be.way.5
Oh yeah, we heard too often that Gaddafi is bad as it was reported as such by the arrogant Western media but at least he provided his people with almost everything free in their daily basic needs. Even when someone got married, the Gaddafi Government provided free housing and even money to be used for the marriage.
Now when Gaddafi is murdered by murderous U.S regime and its ilks, Libya is still a war torn country. However behind the Western oil companies are bumping free oil out of Libya for their big profits.
Did the arrogant Western Media reported all such news. What a f*king West.
hongkiejj@malaysiaboleh
one word ....JEALOUSY !
terrytanlim
yeah right ! Western nations have waged wars and killed millions since the end of WW II with impunity and sheer arrogance and continue doing so to this day. Using 'DEMOCRACY' enslave and plunder the natural resources of the countries they vanquished. NOW IF THIS IS NOT ARROGANCE THEN I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS.
be.way.5
What a stupid poll especially taking in countries like U.S, U.K, Vietnam, Philippines, India and the worst of all, Japan.
U.S/U.K will think that they are the saints who saved the world. The rest of the other countries are just inferior, bad and unworthy.
Vietnam/Philippines - Of all the 10 Asean nations, why these 2 recalcitrant nations. Why not pick Indonesia, Malaysia or even Thailand for the poll
India - We don't expect Indians to say anything good about China right after a good spanking for its forward policy.
Japan - **** don't remember victims but the victims of the Japanese heinous crime will never forget nor forgive the crimes perpetrated.
If the poll is to be fair and unbiased, why not conduct the polls in the rest of other countries around the world except the above 6 countries. The result will not be surprising that China rise is good for the mankind at least by providing a multi-polar world.
As usual the SACMP or South Anti-China Morning Post is spewing out anti-China propaganda without fail just to please the Caucasians thinking that by this way, the paper is deemed a respected international paper.
ianson
Justification for even more aggressive propaganda expansion by the CCP. Watch out for further big investments in international media vehicles.
Stephan
fully agreed... Just look at the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the arrogancy is dripping from his face!
ngsw
For a century China had to dip her head while facing other countries. Now it is naturally she is seen as arrogant and belligerent when she raises her head and dares to challenge.
chaz_hen
Cha bu duo
HiggsSinglet
Sounded like confucius teachings to me. Also sounded like the description of usa

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