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    Survey shows most Chinese respect America
Hu Cong
2005-03-03 06:20

America may have suffered a PR nightmare in other parts of the world but many Chinese give Uncle Sam a cautious thumbs up.

A recent poll showed about two thirds of Chinese have a favourable opinion of Americans although 56.7 per cent believe Washington is attempting to limit China's influence.

Some 70.9 per cent of respondents felt positive about Sino-US relations while 24.8 per cent think the ties are sour. The rest answered "don't know," in the poll, believed to be the first ever, and carried out by the Global Times newspaper, the Institute of American Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and polling company HC International.

"As the poll indicates, the majority of Chinese public have a good opinion about Americans and American society," said Yan Xuetong, director of Tsinghua University's Institute of International Studies. "But when it comes to US foreign policies, including its China policies, the proportion of dislikes is quite high."

Thousands of questionnaires were sent out last month in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Chongqing. Pollsters then visited 1,175 families.

"Hopefully this poll can be continued for many more years, which will help reflect the change of Chinese views on the United States as well as the relationship between public opinion and policies," the Global Times quoted Ding Gang, a former US-based correspondent of the People's Daily who took part in the poll, as saying.

He said the results reflect the love-hate relationship many Chin-ese citizens have with the United States.

More than 90 per cent of respondents agreed that economic ties have promoted more political ties and personal friendships between the two countries' governments and people.

However, the list of dislikes is also long, with the Taiwan question topping the list. Some 37.6 per cent of respondents chose "US arms sales to Taiwan" as the reason they do not like the United States.

More than 60.5 per cent saw Taiwan as a possible source of trouble in future Sino-US relations.

(China Daily 03/03/2005 page2)


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