Chinese public sees Japan, US as least trustworthy: survey

Chinese public sees Japan, US as least trustworthy: survey


Chinese public sees Japan, US as least trustworthy: survey

Chinese citizens view Japan and the United States as the least trustworthy nations among 10 global actors and the most likely to engage in military conflict with Beijing in the next decade, a recent survey in Canada found.

The University of Alberta survey, which drew some 2,000 valid responses from across mainland China between January and March, also found that Japan was rated as having the least important relationship with China. Russia topped the rankings both for trustworthiness and long-term importance.

The respondents were quizzed about their views on China’s relations with nine countries — Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, Russia and the United States — plus the European Union.

The results are believed to reflect rising tensions between China and Western nations over Taiwan and other issues, as well as closer Beijing-Moscow relations.

Chinese people’s perceptions of Russia appear not to have been negatively affected by its invasion of Ukraine.

The report partially attributed Chinese people’s low general trust in Japan to “negative images of Japan stemming from major hostilities in the first half of the 20th century — reinforced in the Chinese education curriculum and popular media — and current territorial disputes.”

It said the respondents’ perception of the relative insignificance of Beijing-Tokyo relations, despite strong bilateral economic ties, was “one of the most surprising findings.”

“The history of Japan-China territorial disputes, and both nations’ growing military power suggest that their bilateral relationship will require careful management to promote prosperity and reduce conflict,” the survey said.

Beijing has been stepping up its claim to the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. But Tokyo maintains the islets are an integral part of its territory and there is no territorial dispute between the countries.

In further evidence of favorable perceptions of Russia, it was also seen as the country least likely to engage in military conflict with China and ranked highly among preferred travel, work and emigration destinations.

The national online and telephone survey was led by Reza Hasmath, professor of political science at the Canadian university, and conducted in cooperation with a survey firm in China.